March 19th, 2009 beckel
So Tuesday was amateur night, or sorry St. Patrick’s Day but more importantly it was an evening of free beer at The Four Firkins. Twas a wonderfully warm day in the mid 60’s and my t-shirt clad bike ride over to St. Louis Park couldn’t have been more lovely, I even ran into a few friendly hooligans on the Greenway who decided to join me on my quest for free beer. The good folks of Tyranena Brewing made their way from Lake Mills, Wisconsin to share some of their beer with us thirsty Minnesotans. The nice gal they sent over had a few interesting treats for us to try including their Scotch Ale which has yet to be bottled though it sounds like it may very well happen in the future, it was quite tasty, sweet and malty and not overly complex. Next I sampled the other growler they had which was apparently brewed by one of their assistant brewers who was moving over to another brewery and wanted to brew a beer before leaving, and a unique beer did he brew. Imperial Chipotle Porter is was called and it was pretty damn good. The pepper was noticeable but not intense at all, unlike Rogues Chipotle Ale and it featured some nice rich maltyness that made it a very enjoyable beer to drink. Next it was time to try the only other beer there I hadn’t sampled before their newest release from the Brewers Gone Wild Series, Paradise by the Dashboard Lights and Imperial Cherry Porter. The cherry flavor was very nice and subtle and the malts in this brew do a good job creating some enjoyable flavors though I initially found myself wanting a little something more. Throughout the evening I tryed many samples of the Paradise and I must say it continued to grow on me tempting me to buy some of it before it runs out. In addition to the specialties they also had all of their year round beers available to sample I particularly enjoyed the rich maltyness of Rocky’s Revenge and the simple crisp flavors of the Stone Tepee Pale Ale. You can see all of my Tyranena reviews here. After 8 Alvey decided to share some brews, opening up a bottle of Southern Tier’s Back Burner Barleywine.Â A very tasty brew that I will get around to writing about one of these days. Thus far I’ve ended up buying three bottles because I keep drinking it when I don’t have time to write a review, though a bottle currently resides in my fridge for this very purpose. Next I was very pleased to see him popping open a bottle of Deus a Brut from Belgium that I had never had the opportunity to try.Â Obviously it is a rather carbonated beer somewhat reminiscent of Champagne and is quite light in color. The flavor was quite nice and I was thankful to have the opportunity to try such a fine brew and only further encouraged me to buy a bottle of Malheur Dark Brut which you should see a review of sometime in the near future. Lastly but definitely not least a bottle of Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale a hypocritical “Imperial Mild” was opened. This is one beer that I knew I wouldn’t be leaving without and I was happy to see that it comes in 6-packs. It’s certainly one unique tasty brew that I can’t wait to properly review. Overall it was a great way to start out an evening of drinking, big thanks to Tyranena and The Four Firkins for hosting.
December 30th, 2008 beckel
Today we have a Barleywine brewed by the lovely folk at Tyranena Brewing from the land of Lake Mills, WI. As part of their ever changing Brewers Gone Wild series I was quite excited to sample this brew, as most of their experimental beers I have had the opportunity to sample have been delightfully flavorful and strong. This beer pours bright red raspberry like color that is incredibly opaque letting no light through. Head is white and about two fingers. Aroma is very malty, sweet, slightly roasted with some fruit and a hint of alcohol.The flavor of this ale is very unique. Rich and malty with a gentle roasted flavor. Figs and raisins come through strong and cover the 9% ABV of this beer remarkably. The body is relatively light for a Barleywine though the mouthfeel is a tad sticky. Definitely a tasty ale to accompany an hearty meal. Not my favorite from the series so far but quite tasty and something I’m very glad I had the opportunity to sample and would gladly drink again, though I just poured my 2nd and last of the four pack. If you are a fan of ales like Dogfish Head’s Raison D’etre you will undoubtedly enjoy this brew. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
September 18th, 2008 beckel
This beer has been sitting in my fridge with no other Tyranena beers to keep it company so I decided it deserved to be consumed. Chief BlackHawk is an American Porter inspired by a Sauk Indian leader of the same name who’s bravery and independent thinking were highly respected by his people. The BlackHawk war allowed settlers to conquer and rapidly develop what is now Wisconsin and was the last armed conflict between Native Americans and Europeans east of the Mississippi River in the Old Northwest Territory. This beer pours a wonderfully dark black color that is absolutely impenetrable. The two Inches of head produced is a nice solid creamy brown color that isÂ quite frothy and lasts for a couple minutes.Â The style of this beer is very apparent in its aroma, sweet toffee and coffee scents are predominate. The flavor of this beer is also expected, smooth coffee and roasted malt flavors are most notable but a few bitter flavors pop up here and there. This is a very smooth flavored beer with little flavor lingering throughout the palate. The mouthfeel is definitely medium but it is still very drinkable. The roasted flavors of this beer almost make me forget I’m drinking alcohol even with its 5.6% ABV. A basic and simple porter but no doubt another tasty beer from Tyranena Brewing. If you can’t typically handle dark beers but would like to this would be a great one to start on. Otherwise any fan of porters who is looking for something simple and less heavy to drink all night long will likely find this beer appropriate. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
August 25th, 2008 beckel
This time we have Rocky’s Revenge from Tyranena Brewing, an American Brown Ale. Apparently a portion of this beer is aged in bourbon barrels so it will vary from batch to batch. This bottle pours a nice very dark brown color, hinting at black and the darkness allows no light through. Head is a solid inch with a slightly tan color that retains for a few minutes. Aroma is nutty and of dark somewhat coffee like malt. Upon the first taste you can tell how dark of a brown ale this really is, strong malty flavors are dominate but simple and nondescript, as you continue drinking a citrus bitterness wraps up the flavor, quite different. The mouthfeel of this beer is light and somewhat carbonated, quite drinkable even though a dark beer. This beer is rather interesting decently well balanced, but dark and malty with a strange sourness in the finish. I am curious to try more of this beer to see how the cask aging impacts different batches but I won’t be holding my breath. A decent brown ale, if your into simple malty beers with something extra this is probably a decent choice. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
August 19th, 2008 beckel
Slowly trickling through these Tyranena brews we come to their Headless Man Amber Alt. Altbier is an interesting style which traditionally consists of beers that have been conditioned for an extended period of time creating a smoother ale. This beer pours a very rich red color looking somewhat like a raspberry but not quite as bright. Head is a bit over an inch but fades rather rapidly, very light in color. This beer has a nice full aroma hints of fermented raspberry and other fruit seem present but sweet malt takes over and rounds off the aroma. The flavor of this beer is quite nice, a slightly sharp hop bitterness hits the tongue first then comes some nice smooth malt flavor that has a slight fruit hint of sweetness finishing with some more hop flavor but very smooth. Coming in at 5% ABV this is a very drinkable beer with a nice light mouthfeel but still very full flavored. The more I drink this beer the more interesting flavors I find and the more curious and encouraged I am to try more beers of this style. Will definitely be buying this beer again even though I tend to prefer a hoppier the different flavors in this beer are great. If you like an amber brew but want something different that is smooth but does not have a massive malt profile you will likely enjoy this beer. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
August 12th, 2008 beckel
Gotta clear out the fridge so here’s to another Tyranena Ale. This time around we have the Stone Tepee Pale Ale coming in at 5.75% ABV. This beer pours a very nice filtered looking copper color that fades from light reds to golden yellows in the light. Head is a good inch and change and fades rather quickly but is a bit more firm than the Three Beaches. Aroma is largely of lightly caramelized malt but slight hop bitterness is notable on the nose. This is a pretty good pale ale, a nice hop bitterness hits the tongue first, then some nice citrus rounded off by some malty sweetness. This is a very drinkable beer with a relatively light mouthfeel. I often find many pale ales boring but this one is rather creative, nothing too complex but certainly full of flavor. Probably wouldn’t buy it often but it’s definitely a beer that anyone can enjoy and down a number easily. If you like a pale ale with some citrus and not too much bitterness but still want a flavorful beer this is a good choice. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
August 11th, 2008 beckel
Decided to purchase a sampler pack of Tyranena beer recently so you should be seeing many reviews of their fine year round brews in the near future. Looking for the lightest beer to start out tonights tastings we will start with their Three Beaches Honey Blonde, named after Rock Lake’s three beaches in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. This ale pours a nice transparent golden color. Head is very plentiful and relatively solid, but the small bubbles fade quite quickly. Aroma is of pale malts and slightly sour with a sweet honey hint. This is a quite interesting beer, flavors of sour pale malted barley are most prevalent with a nice bit of sweetness sneaking up in the back of the palate and smoothing out the beer decently. Mouthfeel is incredibly light one could easily drink this beer as if it were water. It is different than I expected, far more citrus flavor dominates the palate but this is a decent beer, would be incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day at the beach or while grilling some fish. If you like a light sour citrus beer this one is for you. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
July 3rd, 2008 beckel
Previously I have had the opportunity to try a couple of beers from Tyranena Brewing, all from their “extreme” line if you will which they call Brewers Gone Wild. Perhaps I was introduced to this company with a bit of a bias because big beers are what I love. None the less after my first sip of Tyranena’s Bitter Woman IPA I know my bias is not without reason. Brewed in Lake Mills, Wisconsin this beer pours a delightfully red amber color, when brought to light it is more transparent, but still very nicely colored amber. Head is modest and white, but may erupt if you do not pour carefully. Scent is intense , incredibly hop filled but not bitter. Flavor, where to start with the flavor. Initially this beer is almost sweet, but somewhat bitter as hops are certainly present. Flavor is very smooth and malty in the end which makes the flavor of this beer all the more interesting. Mouthfeel is light. Simply this is a must try beer. It is much more malty than I would typically expect (and prefer) in an IPA, but the flavor profiles are simply amazing. This is a well balanced beer, with the 5.75% ABV barely noticeable with the malty finish. I am excited to drink more of this beer with a variety of foods because I think the flavor will come out nicely in a variety of ways depending on your current palate. If you like India Pale Ales at all, or perhaps more so if you would like an IPA with more of an intense malt profile you really need to try this beer. Over all very flavorful and impressive for a year round beer. Give it a shot and ride your bike.