Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Tanner's Jack, by Morland

I was a little concerned about this beer, since it's in a clear bottle. I was afraid it might be skunked if it hadn't been stored properly. My fears were unfounded, and the beer was fine. The Tanner's Jack is brewed by Morland in England. The word "Jack" in this case refers to a leather tankard which was a popular container for drinking beer from in the 18th century. This beer is an English Bitter. It's a smooth malty, slightly fruity ale with a modest bitter finish. This would be a good session beer. It poured a light-colored amber with a head that was just larger than non-existent. I'd like to try this from a cask, on draft, because I imagine it would be even better.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sea Dog Apricot Wheat Beer from Pugsley Brewing

Pugsley Brewing is a Maine brewery, and they're known for their fruity wheat beers. This is the first time I've tried their Apricot Wheat. Since I have my own Apricot Wheat Ale fermenting as I write this, I thought I'd try a commercial version. I've also tried the apricot ale that Dunedin Brewery makes. This version has a strong apricot aroma, and pours a golden yellow color with a small white head. The head was a little disappointing for a wheat beer. It has a strong apricot flavor that tastes like it was created using an extract of some kind. Once I got used to the apricot, I was able to taste the tartness of the wheat. This is a very mild beer with very little hop flavor. It's good, but I think my own apricot wheat will be better - no extracts used in that one!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dry Hopped St. Rogue Red Ale

This wonderful red ale starts and ends with hops. The first sip is all West coast hop flavor - piney and citrusy. Then you notice the smooth creamy body with plenty of malt - slightly sweet and fruity too. Finally, it finishes with a lasting hop bitterness. As you can see in the photo, it had a nice big orange-colored head, which left plenty of lacing on the glass. It poured an orange-amber color. Oregon Brewing is one of my favorite brewers, and this beer just strengthened my opinion.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout

This is the second beer I have tried from Bell's Brewery, in Comstock, MI. The label describes it as a "stout brewed with brewer's licorice". I'm not sure I tasted any licorice, but there was a lot of dark roasted malt, some chocolate and some coffee flavors. It had a creamy smooth texture, with moderate carbonation. It poured nearly black, with a 1-inch tan head, and was a perfect accompaniment to my burger tonight. So far, Bell's is 2 for 2 in my book. Their Oberon Wheat Ale was also enjoyable.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Brewing Day today!

Today was another brewing day. I've been trying to escalate my brewing frequency because I like to have a lot of homebrew selection when I go to the beer fridge. I was down to just a couple of varieties, so I needed to step it up. Today I bottled my Scottish Ale, after giving it a taste test from the fermenter. It tasted awesome, even without carbonation. I'm not sure I'll be able to wait the two weeks for it to carbonate. Bottling time is always fun because when our two dachshunds notice we're bottling, they stand under the fermenter, hoping to catch any errant drips (which are never in short supply). I've mentioned our one dachshund, Porter in earlier posts, but we also have a second one, a female named Penny (due to her copper coloring). The two dogs spend our bottling time trying to see who can get to the beer drips first. Invariably, one of them ends up licking beer off the top of the other ones head. It turns into a zoo.

While we bottled the Scottish Ale (which is actually probably closer to a Wee Heavy due to its alcohol content), I had my next beer boiling on the stove. I made a Belgian style Wit beer, with the addition of some fresh apricots we got at the local farmer's market. It's in the fermenter, and hopefully by tomorrow it will be bubbling away. It's probably a little late to be making a summer beer, but with the climate here in Florida, I don't pay much heed to the season. I already have my next two beers planned out - one for fall, and one for winter. I'll be making a butternut squash porter for Octoberfest, and a Spiced Imperial Stout for Christmas. I'll be posting about them when I'm able to taste them for the first time. In the mean time, my wife and I will be brewing again tomorrow, making an all-Florida mead with Orange blossom honey and muscadine grape juice. Technically, it's called a pyment, which is a mead made with grape juice along with the honey. Muscadine grapes are native to Florida, and we bought a bunch of juice at the local winery, specifically for this purpose.

With dinner tonight, I opened another bottle of my Maple Wheat that I brewed a while back, and it is mellowing nicely. I probably won't make it again, because there are too may other beers I want to make, but if I did, I would lay back a little on the maple syrup. It really kicked up the alcohol level, and I'm getting too old for that. We also sampled our metheglin again, to see how it's aging, and it's becoming really smooth. I'm not sure there will be much left by the time Christmas rolls around.

Since I've put some pics of Porter up here already, I guess I should give Penny some exposure too. So here's a pic of both dogs. Dachshunds are great dogs!

Grolsch Light Lager

Yeah, I know, I don't like light beers. I said as much in my Beck's Premier Light review a while back. I was invited to my daughter's house for lunch and a swim in her pool, so I thought it would be a good time to drink a Grolsch Light. I've had it in the fridge for a while now. I didn't even pour it into a glass, so I don't know what it looks like, although I can imagine. I like Grolsch in its high-calorie format, so I thought this might be worth a try. I don't know if it was the 90 degree heat, but this beer tasted pretty good. It had more body and flavor than the bottled water that Beck's sells as light beer. If I had brought a second one with me, I probably would have drunk it as well.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Weltenburger Kloster Asam Bock

Weltenburger Kloster is a German brewer that claims to be "the oldest Monastery-Brewery in the world. Since 1050." That's just 10 years after Weihenstephan began brewing. This is their "Asam Bock" which is in the style of a doppelbock. They call it a "dunkler doppelbock", and it is dark, so it deserves the name dunkler. It poured a dark brown with a sizeable tan head that lasted for a few minutes. It really looks good in the glass, and it tastes even better than it looks. This is a very rich, malty doppelbock - one of the best I have ever had. It smelled of sweet malt and caramel, and the flavor hinted of raisins and molasses, and lots of malt. It was somewhat low in carbonation, but had a rich texture. At 6.9% alcohol, it wasn't too strong, so I didn't feel like I couldn't finish the bottle. I can easily see why Weltenburger has been around for nearly 1000 years. This is an excellent beer, and I'll be looking around for some of their other varieties.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Theakston Old Peculier

Theakston Old Peculier is brewed in Masham England, and belongs to the Old Ale family of ales. It poured a deep mahogany color, which was red when held up to the light. It had very modest carbonation, and a small light tan head. It had a nuttiness to its flavor, like a brown ale, but less sweet. It had a medium body, and about 5.7% alcohol. The finish was dry, with not much hop presence. I've been hearing about Old Peculier for some time, and this was my first sampling. Although it's a fine English ale, I'm not sure it warrants a second taste.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Margaritaville Brewing Co.'s Landshark Lager

Tacos were on the menu tonight, so I looked thru my beer fridge to see what I had that was Mexican. I came up blank, except for a bottle of Margaritaville Brewing's Landshark Lager. I know it's not Mexican, but it was the closest thing to it. I don't know how much input Jimmy Buffett actually had in the production of this beer, but I do know that it's brewed by Anheuser-Busch. It's bottled in a nice sharkfin-embossed bottle with a painted label, and it poured a light golden color with a 1-1/2 inch tall white head. If Jimmy was going after a Corona clone, I think he nailed it - based on my memory of Corona. This was a refreshing light beer, and went perfectly with my tacos. I'm sure that a lime would feel at home in the neck of the bottle, if you're into that sort of thing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Style Profile - Porter

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that Porter is one of my favorite styles of beer. I even named my dog Porter. The Porter style seems to have come into existence in the late 1600's or early 1700's in London. The story goes that it was named after the customers who preferred this dark style of ale - the porters at London's Victoria Station. It was originally brewed using brown malt, which was kilned over wood, giving the resulting ale a smokey flavor. Porter is now brewed with a lot of different grains, adjuncts and flavorings, but it is still basically a dark ale. It is a top-fermented beer, so it's a true ale. There are 3 basic forms of Porter - Brown, Robust and Baltic.

Brown Porter is the lightest of the three varieties, and generally has an alcohol content of 4-6%. Brown Porter is still more popular in England than in the US. It is light brown to dark brown in color and has almost no hop character. It will be light to medium in body. It may have a very light roastiness to it, possibly accompanied by some biscuit or chocolate notes. Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter is a good example of this style.

Robust Porter is a later development, and is Brown Porter's bigger, stronger brother. It's more popular in the US than in England. American brewers are always pushing the limits, and their Robust Porter varieties are a good example. We use everything from Maple syrup to Vanilla to flavor our Robust Porters. A Robust Porter usually is stronger than the brown variety, with an alcohol level of 5-7%. It is also darker, and roastier than it's little brother, with more hop presence. It is usually dark brown to almost black. Black patent malt is one of the ingredients common in this version of Porter. Anchor Brewing makes a good example of a Robust Porter.

The final version of Porter that I will mention is Baltic Porter. A Baltic Porter generally comes from one of the countries bordering the Baltic sea, such as Poland, Latvia, or Lithuania. Of course, there are some American brewers who are copying this version of Porter as well. Baltic Porters seem to have been influenced by Imperial Stouts, since they are bigger and sweeter than Brown or Robust Porters. A Baltic Porter may have a wine-like character, due to its higher alcohol levels - up to 10%. It will have very little hop flavor, and may be heavy in chocolate and sweet malt character. Like the Robust Porter, it is also very dark in color, possibly black with ruby highlights. Zywiec Porter, from Poland, is one of the better known Baltic Porters. Utenos and Aldaris are two other Baltic Porters.

Finally, here is a gratuitous picture of my Dachshund, Porter who hasn't got a clue about the origin of his name.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Shipyard Chamberlain Pale Ale

Shipyard Brewing Co. is based in Portland Maine, and they're a good solid microbrewery. At one time, they had a brewery based in the Orlando International Airport, but they closed it down. I guess the folks travelling through Orlando weren't interested in putting down their Budweiser long enough to try something different. This beer is their APA style, which they have named Chamberlain Pale Ale. It poured a medium amber with a cream-colored inch tall head. This is a basic APA, nothing exotic. I detected some caramel, and a finish that was hoppy enough to be satisfying. It went well with my dinner, without overpowering any of the food. It was worth trying, but I probably won't buy it again. So many beers, so little time!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sleeman Honey Brown Lager 77

Today, I sampled another one of the four brews in my Sleeman sampler pack, their Honey Brown Lager 77. The 77 indicates the page number on which the recipe for this beer was found, in an old Sleeman family beer recipe book. This is a very mild lager, slightly sweet and malty, with a little showing of some caramel. It's a decent beer, but not a terribly exciting one. It compares favorably to J.W. Dundee's Honey Brown Lager, which is the one that most Americans are familiar with. It poured a crystal clear light brown color, with a small white head that was gone very quickly. It was bottled in a special bottle with the Sleeman logo embossed in the side, and a small neck label. Sleeman is a Canadian brewer, although I believe they have a brewery in the states as well. This could be a good session beer; it's mild and has a reasonably low alcohol level.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fischer Tradition Amber Ale

Not a bad-looking beer right? Clear medium amber color, big bubbly head? Well, this is the closest I have ever come to a drain-pour. I'm hoping that this was a bad bottle, and this is not what the beer is supposed to taste like. It smelled sour in the glass, and that's how it tasted too. My wife said it smelled like a locker room. Once I got past the sour flavor, it went directly to metallic, like sucking on a rusty nail. Obviously something happened to this bottle during its journey from France to Orlando to make it taste this way. Otherwise, I don't think Fischer would have much of a future. Or history for that matter.

Samuel Adams Brown Ale

This is the third beer in the Samuel Adams Brewmaster's Assortment That I bought a few months ago. This brown ale had a small tan head that didn't last long, but left some lacing on the glass. It was a clear brown color, with the aroma of malt and caramel. The caramel was evident in the flavor as well, along with the nutty flavor that brown ales have. It was balanced by the right amount of hops, making this a very enjoyable ale to go with my lunch. Samuel Adams rarely lets me down.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sierra Nevada Unfiltered Wheat Beer

Now that Sierra Nevada is one of the 3 largest US owned brewers, I decided to give their Unfiltered Wheat Beer a try. It poured a cloudy golden color, with a big white head. The beer wasn't as cloudy as I was expecting from a wheat beer, so I guess I didn't stir up the yeast very much when I poured it.

One thing I have to say for Sierra Nevada is that they love their West Coast Hops. This was a hoppier wheat than most, for sure. It tasted like Cascades or a similar variety was used. It had the citrus-like flavor of an American Wheat, but the hops definitely added an interesting flair. This is the 3rd Sierra Nevada beer I have tried since starting this blog, and every one of them has been worth the time. Fritz Maytag must know what he's doing out there in California.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Birra Moretti La Rosa Double Bock

Tonight, I tried my first beer from Birra Moretti, called La Rossa. This is an Italian Double Bock, or "doppio malto". This is a far cry from the usual pale lagers I have seen from Italy. As a double bock, it stands up well with the more well-known German Dopplebocks' which I enjoy tremendously. The Late Great Beer Expert Michael Jackson once posed the question "Could Moretti La Rossa be the ultimate pizza beer?" Unfortunately, I didn't have any pizza to test it with, but I think it could be in the running. It's got a lot of malt flavor and a suitably dry finish. I think it could stand up to pizza pretty well, even though it's not an IPA. It poured a deep copper color with a big but short-lived orange head. This was a very pleasant surprise, and may require additional sampling.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Orkney Brewing Dark Island Dark Ale

This ale surprised me, right out of the gate. I wasn't expecting a smoky ale, but that's the first thing I tasted. From using smoked malt in my homebrew, I believe it is peat-smoked malt used in Orkney Brewing's Dark Island Dark Ale. The picture is dark because of a thunderstorm that was going through here, but you can tell that it poured a deep brown, with a small beige head. Aside from the smoke, I also tasted some roasted malt, some toffee, and even some burned fruit. I have tried several beers from Orkney, and I have been impressed every time. This Scottish brewer has a good thing going. Check it out.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Saranac Caramel Porter from F.X. Matt

I was very upset to learn that a fire had damaged the F.X. Matt Brewery in Utica, NY back in May of this year. I have a long history of going to the brewery, so it was like a childhood friend had been injured. Fortunately, the fire was in one of the external buildings, not in the main brewhouse itself. It didn't destroy any of the beer in the fermenting tanks. I'm sure it's put a crimp in their production, but it wasn't fatal.
Tonight, I had a bottle of Saranac Caramel Porter, one of the bottles that my sister brought me this past Christmas. It's part of their winter brew assortment. I love a good porter, so I was looking forward to enjoying this with my dinner. It poured a deep chocolate-brown and had a very respectable fluffy tan head. The name of this beer is very appropriate. There is a lot of caramel flavor in there, almost like they added caramel syrup before bottling. There was also some roasted malt flavor, and some chocolate too.
I'm looking forward to my sister's next trip to Florida, hopefully with the Saranac Summer beer assortment this time. Or maybe some of that Pomegranate wheat I've read about - or the Imperial Stout, or the Double IPA, or.....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chimay Bleue Belgian Strong Ale

Chimay is probably the most well-known and most popular of all the Belgian breweries that have a presence in the US. Chimay Bleue (Blue) is a Belgian Strong Ale, and has an alcohol level of 9.0%. This ale poured a deep brown, with lots of yeast in the bottle. This is a bottle-conditioned ale, like a lot of Belgian beers. It had a small white head that dissipated pretty rapidly. It's well-carbonated too. The flavor is a little sweet, with a strong wine-like character. It has some alcohol in the finish. I think Belgian beers are an acquired taste, but they're some of the most interesting beers in the world.

Tommyknocker Jack Whacker Wheat Ale

Compared to the Sun Dog I tried a few days ago, this wheat ale is much more authentic. It has an immediate tangy cirtus flavor, and a subtle hop finish. Tommyknocker Brewery & Pub adds some lemongrass at the end of the mash, which accentuates the usual citrus flavor of the wheat. It poured a cloudy orange color with a small white head. This ale was very nice with my turkey sandwich - very refreshing. This is the second beer I have tasted from Tommyknocker, and they have both been very enjoyable. I'll have to look for some more of their beers.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Homebrewed Brown Ale - Initial Taste Test

Today was brewing day - my wife and I made a batch of mead, which we plan to add apricots to, and then we made a strong Scottish Ale. They're both finished, and the yeast are happily fermenting. Since today was brewing day, I decided to pop the top on the first beer of my last batch - a brown ale. I brewed this batch back in mid-June, and it's been carbonating for about 10 days. Based on my totally unbiased opinion, it's perfect! Slightly sweet with some caramel flavor, a little nutty, and a nice hop finish, balance out the ale. As you can see in the photo, it had a healthy tan head, and poured a deep brown. Here's the recipe I used to make 2.5 gallons:
3.3 lbs Briess Sparkling Amber LME
4 oz Crystal Malt 120L
2 oz Black Patent Malt
1 oz Willamette Hops for bittering
1/4 oz Amarillo Hops for finishing
Danstar Windsor Yeast
Corn Sugar for priming
I steeped the malt grains in a gallon of water on the stove, until they reached 165 degrees, then pulled them out. I then heated the wort to boiling, and added the Willamette hops. After 45 minutes, I added the LME, and 10 minutes later, the Amarillo hops. Total boil time was an hour. I then cooled the wort, and added it to a gallon of water in my fermenter, then topped it off to 2.5 gallons total. In went the yeast, and I let it sit in the fermenter for a couple of weeks before bottling. I primed the bottles with corn sugar, and let it carbonate for 10 days.
I normally let a beer sit in the bottles for 2 full weeks before tasting, but today I couldn't wait. I think the rest will be going in the fridge soon.

Anheuser Busch Sun Dog Amber Wheat Ale

I don't generally drink Anheuser-Busch products, because their "traditional" brews, like Bud, Michelob and Busch give me a splitting headache the next day, even if I drink only one. Their micro-style brews don't have the same effect, thank goodness. If someone handed me a glass of Sun Dog, without telling me it was a wheat, I would have never guessed it was. It doesn't look like a wheat beer, and it doesn't taste much like a wheat beer. It poured a clear amber color, with a 1-inch tall white head. The head was pretty long-lasting. There was a faint hint of citrus, but that is the only clue that there is any wheat to be found. It's a basic middle-of-the-road ale, brewed for the Anheuser-Busch market share. I could drink it on a hot day and find it thirst-quenching, but I wouldn't seek it out.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Blue Marble Organic Pilsner

I bought this bottle of "earth friendly" beer at the local World Market. I guess it's earth friendly because it's organic. This is my second organic brew in about a month, and this one is vastly superior to the last one. This is a Pilsner style, rather than a pale ale. It poured a golden straw color, with a sizeable white head. It's pretty well-carbonated, but not excessively so. The first thing I noticed was the flavor of lemons, and a distinctly bitter finish. This has a healthy dose of Noble hops, as a Pilsner should. At 3.9%, it's pretty modest in its alcohol level. I enjoyed this brew, and I have a better opinion of organic beers now. Blue Marble Brewing is a subsidiary of Butte Creek Brewing.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cooper's Best Extra Stout - Australia

Cooper's Brewery is in Regency Park, South Australia. This is their "Best Extra Stout". An Extra Stout is in between a regular stout and an Imperial Stout when it comes to alcohol strength. The first Extra Stout was made by Guinness, but othe brewers followed. This is a roasty, chocolaty stout wilth a creamy texture. It looks nearly black in the glass, with a smallish tan head. I think this is a bit dryer than many of the stouts I've tried, and finishes dry as well. I'm a big fan of stouts and porters, and I highly recommend this one.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Eisenbahn Defumada Smoked Lager

Eisenbahn Defumada Smoked Lager is from Cervejaria Sudbrack Ltda. in Blumenau Brazil. The brewery bills itself as "South America's Craft Brewery", and if this beer is any indication, the nick-name is accurate. It poured a beautiful copper color with a large beige head, that lasted longer than most. The first sip tasted of pure smoke, but after getting used to it, I was able to taste the malt too. It has some caramel sweetness mixed in with roasted malt. This is not as smoky as a German Rauchbier, but it's got plenty of smoke character. I really enjoyed this one. I also bought Eisenbahn S.A.P.A. which stands for South American Pale Ale. I hope I enjoy that one as much as I did this one. It's nice to find a Brazilian beer thats not a pale lager.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tennent's of Scotland - Scotland's Finest Lager

I was pleasantly surprised by this lager from Tennent's of Scotland. I've been a bit shy about trying yet another European Pale Lager. Maybe it's because the UK isn't part of the EU, but this lager was different from my other recent samplings. This beer has much more body than the Estrella I recently tried, and was sweeter and maltier as well. It had enough hop flavor to offset the malt, without being too obvious. I'm really learning to appreciate Scottish beers. This is the first time I've used my Florida State beer mug, a gift from my daughter. It's her Alma Mater, not mine.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

North Coast Brewing's Red Seal Ale

North Coast Brewing is located in Fort Bragg, CA. This is the second beer I've tried from them, and it is excellent. Red Seal Ale poured a red-orange color, with a 1-inch tall head. It tasted of sweet malt and caramel, with a piney hop finish. The mouthfeel was smooth and rich. This would be a good session beer, since the alcohol level is reasonable at 5.5%. I don't see a lot of choices from North Coast here in Florida, but I'll be on the lookout for them.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Weihenstephaner Vitus - Weizenbock

Today, I had a beer from one of my favorite German Brewers. Weihenstephan claims to be the oldest brewery in the world, with continuous brewing since the year 1040. Weihenstephan Vitus is a weizenbock, which is a maltier, higher alcohol version of their Hefeweizen. This beer had a fruity, citrusy background, with the typical banana/clove flavors of the Bavarian weizen yeast. In fact, if you're a homebrewer, you can buy the Weihenstephan strain of yeast from Wyeast - it's number 3068.

At 7.7% alcohol, Vitus is significantly stronger than Weihenstephan's standard wheat brew. This beer is obviously maltier, with a heavier mouthfeel as well. It poured a deep golden color, with a huge white head that lasted forever. I got the glass as a promotion from the local liquor store, by buying 4 bottles of Weihenstephan. It's my favorite glass, and today I was able to turn the glass around and display the logo for my photo. It's the perfect glass for drinking a wheat beer with a nice full head.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA

Today was pizza day at lunch time, so I grabbed one of my preferred pizza beers to go along with it. An IPA is one of the few beers that doesn't get overwhelmed by the salty, spicy pizza. Flying Dog has a good IPA, called Snake Dog. It poured a medium amber color, with a 1 inch tall white head, that left plenty of lacing on the glass. There was lots of sweet malt flavor, balanced by a heaping helping of grapefruit-flavored Columbus hops from the West Coast. Snake Dog is a much tastier beer than their Tire Biter Golden Ale, but maybe I'm just biased.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Left Hand Brewing's Sawtooth Ale

Here's another offering from Left Hand Brewing of Longmont, CO. It's their Sawtooth Ale, which the brewer describes as an ESB. When I poured this beer, the head filled the glass, and I had to wait a long time for it to subside enough to pour some more in. The photo shows the beer when only about 2/3 of the bottle has been poured. I've had this happen with a few of my homebrews, but usually I have the opposite situation with commercial beers - no head at all. So, I patiently waited, sipped some of the head to try to make some room, and finally got the beer poured. It's a nice pale amber, a little cloudy because it must be bottle conditioned. There was a fair amount of yeast residue in the bottle. This is a very flavorful beer, full of hops and malt. This is an American style ESB, since it's made with Cascade hops, along with English Fuggles. It has a slighty metallic taste in the finish. This was more obvious when I was sipping at the head only. Left Hand Brewing is another strong brewer, and this is a good example of their craft.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Estrella Galicia Premium Lager

Here's another selection from World Market's "Beers of the World" assortment. This one's from Spain from a brewery called Hijos de Rivera and is called Estrella Galicia. This is the first beer I have ever tasted from Spain. It's a pale lager, and it poured a light golden color, with a big fluffy white head. The head had pretty good staying power, and nice lacing. This beer could easily get lost amongst all the other European pale lagers. It doesn't have any specific feature that can set it apart. As with so many beers of this type, it is non-offensive, but ultimately forgettable. I'm becoming more and more prejudiced about these pale lagers.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Stone Mill Organic Pale Ale - Certified Organic!

I'm not very impressed when I hear that a food item is "certified organic". For the most part, I can't tell the difference. So the exclamation point in the title of this post is a bit facetious. This beer is from the Green Valley Brewing Co., in Merrimack, NH. Coincidentally, Anheuser-Busch has a brewery in Merrimack as well. A little Google time found that there is indeed a connection, and that A-B felt that they needed a new name for their organic brew. Stone Mill Pale Ale is a very average pale ale. It has a little bit of malt sweetness, a little bit of hop flavor, and very little else to recommend it. I know that the brewers of Budweiser can do better than this, because I've had a couple of their other microbrew style beers, and they've been more interesting than this one. If you're looking for a basic, average, uninspiring pale ale, this is for you. I think I'd prefer a Sierra Nevada - even if it isn't "certified organic".