July 13th, 2009 beckel
A few weeks ago I enjoyed some 1800 English India Pale Ale from our fine local brewpub Town Hall. This beer is only brewed once a year and is always a big hit so I knew I had to get my hands on some. Color is light amber and appears quite translucent. Was served with an appropriate finger of white head. Aroma is nicely hoppy with a good deal of orange and other citrus with just a bit of bitterness. Flavor is full of floral and citrus hops that contrast nicely with the somewhat sweet malt base. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is quite clean. Tough not a hop bomb in any way this is a nicely hopped yet well balanced IPA brewed with respect to English style. Most fans of India Pale Ales will enjoy this beer though you’ll want to count how many you have as it’s 8.2% ABV is very well hidden. Apparently it is even better on cask so hopefully I will be able to find some of that soon. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
July 13th, 2009 beckel
So if it’s not obvious yet I kind of suck at blogging about things after the fact which is part of the reason I write about brews as I consume them when possible; though I further find it a good way to immerse readers in the tasting experience as it happens. So as I look here at my tasting notes from Town Hall’s Simcoe Double India Brown Ale which was released today I realized the previous two brews I have consumed and jotted notes down about I didn’t get around to posting about, guess I have some work to do. But on to the present topic. Town Hall has brewed a similar beer for many years but this is the first year they have used a single hop in the brew, a solid up and coming hop at that; Simcoe. This beer was served to me with an appropriate finger and change of white head. Color is relatively dark brown and quite attractive and somewhat opaque when brought to light. Aroma is quite amazing. Full of fruity Simcoe hops which usually reminds me of passion fruit though in the aroma of this brew it reminds me strangely of strawberry yogurt as well as some additional malty sweetness. Flavor is unique, sweet and malty with strong passion fruit notes from the Simcoe which is nicely contrasted by some caramely malt sweetness and some gentle bitterness that intensifies appropriately in the finish giving this beer a well rounded flavor. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is almost creamy though I think it’s mostly the flavor tricking me. Though this beer is on the sweeter side the caramel malt notes in combination with the serious addition of Simcoe is really quite drinkable and enjoyable. If you enjoy uniquely hoppy brown ales that pack a punch this will be right up your alley as it is 7.8% ABV. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
March 9th, 2009 beckel
So I’ve been far too busy recently, but what are you going to do, tiz the way of life sometimes. Last Tuesday I had a very enjoyable ride over to our local Brewpub, Town Hall for their Lion Brewing & Moylan’s Brewing tapping. Though I am a fan of the flavorful simplicity offered by Lions Imperial Stout and curious what they have to offer in their Imperial Lager I didn’t end up consuming either as I was distracted with the Barleywine wisely named Twisted Reality from Town Hall that had just been tapped on Monday. The ale pours a nice date like color with some nice red hues and is incredibly opaque allowing almost no light through. Aroma had a decent amount of citrus initially but it was immediately nullified by the caramely sweet malt characteristics and a solid dose of bitterness. Flavor is of delicious pitted fruits that are complimented with rich smooth malts and a good dose of bittering hops to round it off. Enjoyable floral and citrus notes are present but very subtle due to the massive bittering, I detect mostly orange. Head is a creamy tan color but not much was present as it was a bar pour into a modest sized sniffer. Body is quite light for a Barleywine and the mouthfeel is smooth making this solid 9.9% ABV brew very drinkable. I was quite pleased with the brew and would encourage anyone else who likes big beers to try it. The balance of flavors was done very well and I am a big fan of the wonderful hoppy bitterness present. After my first Barleywine I couldn’t help but try some Moylan’s Double Kilt Lifter as I have never had the opportunity to try the double strength stuff and thought the original Kilt Lifter was decent. The aroma was quite sweet with some malt coming through but largely sugar and a cherry like scent as well as other pitted fruits and a hint of sherry. Color is very deep but bright red and slightly translucent. Flavor is sweet and relatively fruity, almost a bit tart. Body is amazingly light and this brew goes down pretty smoothly. Alcohol is a bit more noticeable than some ale’s because of the sweetness but not particularly intense considering its 11% ABV. I did not realize this until now but apparently it was a special for their 1000th batch brewed. Similar to what Town Hall just did with their Imperial IPA, though unfortunately I missed that. The Double Kilt Lifter was a bit too much on the sweet side for me, but you have to get those sugars to ferment from somewhere. Not a bad beer I could just do with a bit more bittering to balance. I ended up finishing the evening with a few more Barleywines and another, this time full pint size glass of Moylan’s Double Kilt lifter when the distributor arrived with a few of their brewery glasses for us to take home. I also ended up with a good amount of Lion Brewing schwag including a small or medium womens shirt….so if anyone has a gal that likes Lion Brewing let me know, though I’m tempted to wear it just for good measure. Hooray for good beer, good conversations, and a safe ride home. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
Town Hall Twisted Reality Barleywine
Moylan’s Double Kilt Lifter & Sweet Potato Fries
July 30th, 2008 beckel
I was informed that the Town Hall Brewery of Minneapolis was releasing a beer made with only warrior hops so I thought it was damn time I made my way over there. Drinking a single hopped beer is a great way to learn about a particular hop and what it can do to the aroma, flavor and even body of a beer. The Warrior Double dry pours a nice light copper color that is somewhat transparent. Smell is heavy on the hops, somewhat sweet but largely bitter aroma. Body is medium light. This beer has an insane hop profile, quite bitter but with a twisted tangy flavor that is almost like a citrus. This is a very interesting flavored beer and hop variety. Over all a darn good beer coming in at 5.5% ABV and definitely worth trying particularly if you adore hops. Drink it while its still around.
While I was at it I figured I should sample some of their Masala Mama IPA that was cask aged. This beer cascades immensely from a lovely hazy orange color to a nice amber red that is barely transparent. Aroma is slightly hoppy but smooth sweet malt is more predominate. Mouthfeel is light. The flavor of this beer is surprisingly sweet. Slight bitterness is present initially but overpowered by immense flavorful malt sweetness with a slight hint of caramel. Head is thick, persistent and off white. Not what I was expecting, but still a good beer. It will be interesting to try their normal IPA sometime to compare. If you like a sweet smooth IPA this is for you.
Lastly I ordered some of their Cow Tipper a seasonal coming in at 5.7% ABV. Light copper in color quite transparent. Smells strongly like a pilsner, heavy malt scent. Head is relatively large but fades quickly. Light mouthfeel and very drinkable. Tastes of full flavored pilsner malts, very nice flavor balance particularly seeing as I tend to not prefer pilsners. Quite carbonated. If you like a pilsner with a bit more flavor this is a grand choice, likely perfect on a hot summer day like we’ve been having as of late. Give Town Hall some love and ride your bike.