Sunday, August 31, 2008

Homebrewed Apricot Wheat Ale

I tasted my Apricot Wheat ale today. It's been in the fermenter for weeks, with the yeast busily working on the apricots. It finally looked about finished, so I decided to see how it tastes before bottling. It's totally flat, since the carbonation is generated in the bottle, but I can tell it has a lot of potential. It's quite tart, almost a lambic-style flavor, and the apricots come through nicely. I think a couple of weeks in the bottle to carbonate will definitely do it some good. I'm thinking of carbonating it using some Apricot nectar, but I'm a little concerned about how much to use. I'd hate to finish up my Apricot Ale by turning it into a bunch of bottle bombs.
With dinner tonight, I had a bottle of my Maple Wheat ale, which has aged nicely. It's smoothed out a lot, but I still think I'll go with a little less maple the next time. I need to lower the alcohol level a bit, and it would be perfect.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sam Adams Light

I have a bunch of Sam Adams Light left over from my birthday party, so I decided to try one today. I've had it in the past, but my memory of the experience eluded me. It poured a pale amber color, with a small white head. The aroma was malt, which is unlike most light beers. One taste told me that if I had to drink a light beer, this would be the one. It does not compare to their Boston Lager for sure, but it is head and shoulders above the Beck's I had a while back. This is much more malty, with a better body than the Beck's. Of course, at 119 calories, it should be, since the Beck's was half that number. Of course, bottled water has no calories, so it would be a better choice than the Beck's.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tucher Kristall Weizen

I found another bottle of Tucher wheat beer in the fridge - this time it's their Kristall Weizen. A Kristall is a filtered wheat beer, which differentiates it from the Hefeweizen, which is unfiltered. It generally has a cleaner, crisper flavor than a hefe. This one falls into that category precisely. It still has the banana-clove flavor of a Bavarian Hefe, but it is lighter in body, color and flavor. The Tucher poured a golden color, almost like a Pilsner. It had a big frothy white head. This is a great warm-weather beer, which I enjoyed tremendously.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Otter Creek Copper Ale

Tonight's beer is the final selection from the Otter Creek variety pack my sister brought for me when she came down from NY. It's their Copper Ale, which describes the exact color when poured into a glass. It had a near-nonexistent head. The main flavor was sweet malt, with just enough hops to balance it out. I really enjoyed this beer, but it had one minor flaw. The finish was a little bit metallic and bitter. This is an easy-drinking ale, with a moderate alcohol level as well. It's brewed by Otter Creek Brewing in Middlebury, Vermont.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fiddler's Green India Pale Ale

Fiddler's Green Brewing Co. is from Utica, NY which made me suspicious. Sure enough, it's a contract brew made by FX Matt, brewers of the Saranac line of beers. This IPA poured an orangy-gold color with an inch-high white head. The aroma is essentially caramel malt and not much else. The first sip had a lot of citrus, presumably from the hops. The beer is somewhat fruity in general. This is a somewhat subdued IPA, but that's not a fault. It's very drinkable and enjoyable. This would be an excellent "training wheels" kind of IPA to get the uninitiated interested in IPA's. It won't scare them off like Flying Dog's Snake Dog might.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Birthday dinner at Long Horn

Today was my official half-century birthday, and I celebrated it with my family by having dinner at Long Horn Steakhouse. I think Long Horn is one of the best steak restaurants there is. I've had tough steaks at some pretty fancy restaurants, but Long Horn is consistently good. I was a little concerned when the chain was bought out by Darden, the owner of Red Lobster, but I guess they decided not to mess with success. My only complaint is that their beer selection is sketchy, with Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and Blue Moon representing their most adventurous selections. Fortunately I like them both, and chose a Sam Adams tonight - in the big 25 oz mug. Hey - it's my birthday, right? The prime rib was tasty, although it was cooked a little more than I wanted, and the Sam Adams was ice cold. Sam from the tap is a different beer from Sam in a bottle. They're both excellent, but draft is better. Maybe it's just the presentation, but it tastes fresher, and has more hop flavor and aroma. I had a nice dinner with good company for my 50th.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rogue Brutal Bitter from Oregon Brewing

Tonight I enjoyed my first beer in a few days, and I picked one from one of my favorite brewers. Rogue Brutal Bitter is definitely a very creative version of an English Bitter. It poured an orange-amber color with a head the color of orange sherbet. This ale is much hoppier, and more bitter than the standard Bitter. John Maier, the Brewmaster at Rogue, likes his hops, and there's a healthy dose of citrusy West coast hops in this beer. While it's hoppier than a traditional bitter, it is not as hoppy or as strong as an IPA. Oregon Brewing can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned, and this beer just strengthens that conviction.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

GASP! No Beer Today!

This weekend has been crazy for my family. My son has moved out of the house to his own apartment, and he will be starting his Junior year of college tomorrow. He was living at home for his first two years, but felt that it was time to step out on his own. Obviously, it's a small step, since he's only an hour from home, but it feels like a huge distance. This event leaves my wife and I as empty-nesters - a title that we're not sure we're ready for. Our daughter was married 10 months ago, so we've had some big life events this past year. With helping my son prepare, move and settle in, we ended up eating fast food most of the weekend, and I think Taco Bell would have had something to say if I brought my own beer with me. So no beer tonight. Maybe we'll be back to something more normal tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Saranac Brown Ale from F.X. Matt Brewing

Well, my sister's headed back to NY after a week in Florida enjoying our tropical storm. Yep, Fay did a number on their vacation. I made out pretty well because they brought me a 12 pack of assorted Saranac beers, and another assortment from Otter Creek. Along with my homebrew, the extra beer from my surprise birthday party, and the beer I already had in the fridge, the old beer fridge is bursting at its seams. To take a little of the pressure off, I tried Saranac's Brown Ale tonight. It poured a medium brown, with a fluffy beige head that was pretty sturdy. This brown ale is not as sweet as a lot of them are, but it had a chocolaty base, and a hoppy finish. They must have thrown a few extra hops in because the beer surprised me in that area. This was a very enjoyable ale. Thanks, sis for bringing it to me!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Orkney Brewery's Skull Splitter Orkney Ale

Orkney Brewery's Skull Splitter Ale is a high gravity malty brew from Scotland. It poured a deep amber with a 3/4 inch off-white head. Unfortunately, the picture is not doing it justice because it's so dark. We can thank Tropical storm Fay for that! This is a sweet ale in the style of a Wee Heavy, with lots of malt, and with the flavor of toffee and dark fruits. It's a bit higher in alcohol at 8.5%. The alcohol is obvious in the finish, and there is almost no evidence of hops. This would make a nice winter warmer!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tucher Dunkles hefe Weizen

This Hefe Weizen Dunkle is brewed by the German brewer Tucher. It poured a cloudy medium brown color with a large off-white head. The head lasted for a long time, and left some nice lacing on the glass. This beer had the banana and clove flavor that is typical of a Bavarian Hefeweizen. These flavors are generated by the specific type of yeast used in these brews. Because it is a dunkel, it also had some caramel and chocolate notes as well. This beer was a little sweeter than the standard hefeweizen, probably due to the fact that it's a dunkel. It had a smooth medium texture and very little hop finish. This was a very enjoyable beer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wit Beer Taste Comparison - Japan vs USA

In the spirit of the Olympics, I decided to open up two different Wit beers, or White Ales in this case, and pit them against each other. The one on the left is Otter Creek White Sail Belgian Style White Ale from Middlebury VT. The other one is Hitachino Nest White Ale from Ibaraki, Japan. The Otter Creek poured a medium gold color, and was nearly crystal clear. It had a smallish white head that evaporated rather quickly. The Japanese contender poured a cloudy orange-gold color, with a larger white head. It too dissipated rather swiftly. The Hitachino Nest had a very strong orange flavor, almost like it had added orange juice in it. The coriander was also very obvious. The Otter Creek was more subdued, at least as far as the orange flavor, and had more maltiness to it. Coriander was still evident, but less obvious. It also had more hop flavor and is sweeter in general. I don't think there was a clear winner here, because the beers were so different. I think I preferred the tangy strong orange of the Hitachino Nest, but the rest of my taste testers preferred the sweeter, maltier Otter Creek. You can't go wrong with either one.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager

I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to post tonight. Work is killing me! I work from home, and today was a long day, finishing up just a few minutes ago. I wanted to post about Dixie Brewing Co.'s Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager before I forgot what it was like. I've seen this beer numerous times over the years, and I always wanted to try it. It definitely has a cool label. The Dixie Brewing Company was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and while the brewery is rebuilding, the beer is being brewed in Wisconsin by the Joseph Huber Brewing Co. No matter its origin, this beer is somewhat in the style of a Schwarzbier. It's a dark lager, with some chocolate and roasted malt notes, and it's smoother than a dark ale. It's a bit watered down in comparison to some other beers of this style, such as Samuel Adams Black Lager. It poured a deep brown, not quite as dark as a Schwarzbier generally is. The head only lasted a short time. This isn't a bad beer, just not an exceptional one.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Today started out as a pretty normal Sunday, except that my sister and brother-in-law are down from New York, on vacation. Being a good sister, she brought me some Saranac, and some beer from a brewery I was unfamiliar with - Otter Creek Brewing, which is in Vermont. We ate a late breakfast, and had plans to do an early dinner at my daughter's house, so my sister could see her niece's new home. I decided to go do some shopping, in preparation for my 50th birthday, which is coming up in a week, so my sister and her husband and I jumped in the car and took a ride. Our shopping trip ended just in time to get to my daughter's home at the designated time. I knocked on the door, and as I was let into the house - SURPRISE!! My family had thrown me a surprise birthday party for my 50th. I was floored! Totally clueless! I never suspected a thing. It was a great party, with good friends and family, lots of good food, and plenty of good beer. I was touched that they had planned this for me, and I had a great time. When I knew I would be just in time for "dinner", I asked my wife to bring one of the new Otter Creek beers with her to go along with my meal. So the first beer I had was Otter Creek's Stovepipe Porter, a roasty robust version of the style. I then switched to Flying Dog's Snake Dog - a very snappy, hoppy IPA. I cut myself off at 3 beers, so I picked a classic - Samuel Adams Boston Lager. I think this is one of the best lagers on the planet. The time flew by, the party ended, and I think everyone left smiling. I had a great early birthday! And now I know why my wife wanted me to get a haircut!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Orlando Brewing Partners brewery visit

After our lunch at the Irish pub, my wife, my sister, my brother-in-law, and I decided to check out the only microbrewery in the Orlando area - Orlando Brewing Partners. This microbrewery was started by some homebrewers, and is an all organic brewery that follows the German Purity law of 1516, also known as the Reinheitsgebot. The brewery is located in a scary industrial section of town and we were a little hesitant about going inside. We walked into the taproom, and soon learned that brewery tours were scheduled to run at 6 pm, and it was only 2:15. Since we made the trip, we sat down and ordered their beer sampler - 12 four ounce beers - 1 of each variety they currently had on tap. We all chuckled when we tried the first one, which was infused with vitamins - a "healthy" beer. Maybe I need to get a six-pack to take to the gym while I work out. It was ok, but the remaining 11 were much better. I realy enjoyed their "Miami Weisse" a Bavarian style wheat beer. Their Blackwater Dry Porter, which I have reviewed in an earlier post, was also excellent, as was their double IPA. This was a worthwhile trip. I even added a new pint glass to my collection. I'm just glad I wasn't driving!

Lunch at Hagan O'Reilly's Irish Pub

A new Irish pub opened up this week in Winter Garden, Florida, so I had to give it a test run. My sister and her hubby are down for the week, and it seemed like a perfect place for lunch. We all like Irish pubs, with their basic tasty foods and good beer. We had an assortment of Irish cuisine at the table, including Shepherd's Pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. Of course we accompanied the food with some good brews. The pub has a special tap system that injects nitrogen into the beer to create "the perfect pour". I'm not sure it had much impact on the Murphy's Red or Harp lager, but my Guinness and Smithwick's combination definitely benefitted from it. The pub called this particular combo a "Blacksmith", just a different variation on the black and tan theme. The photo shows the two-layered blacksmith. Originally I ordered a Guinness and Boddington's, but there seemed to be some problem with their Boddington's tap, so I needed to switch to Smithwick's. The drink was just as creamy and smooth as I think it would have been with the Boddington's, so I'm not sorry to have changed. The food was excellent, and once they have the kinks worked out, I'm sure Hagan O'Reilly's will be a very popular new restaurant.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mad River Steelhead Scotch Porter

Mad River Brewing Co. is located in Blue Lake, CA and they make a number of beers with the "Steelhead" moniker. This is their Scotch Porter, and it's a tasty one. It poured a deep brown with a small tan head, which left lacing down the entire glass. There was a lot of sediment in the glass, so I think it may be bottle-conditioned. This is a roasty Robust Porter, with lots of chocolate flavor, some vanilla, and even some licorice. I also detected the mild smokiness of the peat-smoked barly they used. This is a great Porter - and isn't that a purty label too?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Baron's Black Wattle Superior Wattle Seed Ale

I have noticed this ale at my local Publix supermarket, but at $11.00 a sixer, I was hesitant to try it. This past weekend, I made a trip to the Total Wine store, and found I could buy a single of it. The Wattle seed was what intrigued me, since I hadn't the slightest clue what a Wattle seed was. As it turns out a Wattle seed is from a native Australian tree, and the seeds have been used for flavoring for many years. The beer poured a chocolate brown color, and had some hints of chocolate in the flavor as well. The bottle described a "lasting creamy head" which turned out to be 1/4 inch tall, as you can see in the picture. This ale was slightly sweet, and had some caramel and vanilla-like flavors, which may or may not be from the Wattle seed. This was a good beer, but not an $11.00 a six-pack beer - at least in my opinion.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Funny Keystone Light commercial

Here's a pretty clever beer commercial from Keystone Light. I'm not a big fan of their beer, but the commercial's pretty good.....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lagunitas IPA India Pale Ale

Tonight was pizza night again, so I went to the fridge to find an IPA. Lagunitas has never let me down, so I pulled their IPA out from behind a bunch of other beers, and popped the top. It poured an orange-amber color with a small white head. The brewer describes this beer as "homicidally hoppy", which might be a slight exaggeration. There were plenty of hops to be sure, but I've had hoppier beers. The hops were perfectly balanced by just enough malt sweetness. This is a really solid IPA, although I can't put it in the same class as Dogfish Head's 60-Minute IPA. It went beautifully with my pizza, so I have no complaints.

Monday, August 11, 2008

J.W. Dundee's American Pale Ale

J.W. Dundee is pretty well-known for their honey brown lager, but they also have a number of other options available, one of which is this American Pale Ale. The Dundee beers tend to be on the more affordable side of the microbrew list, so I decided to try this out. It poured an orange-amber, with a decent white head. It's a very basic Pale Ale, very middle-of-the-road for the style. It has some maltiness, and some hops in the finish, but nothing to really recommend it, except for the price. I have to say that I would definitely prefer to drink J.W. Dundee's American Pale Ale over most of the other beers in the same price range, so I guess that says something. This beer was brewed by the High Falls Brewing Company in Rochester, NY. High Falls Brewing is also the home of the Genesee line of beers. Anyone who went to college in upstate NY knows Genny Cream Ale, their most famous brew.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Moosbacher Kellerbier

As a homebrewer, I'm always on the lookout for bottles I can use for my latest concoction. There are several German brewers that use brown half-liter flip-top bottles like the one in the photo. These bottles are perfect! Flip-top bottles are so much easier to use than standard crown bottles. I started out using Grolsch pint bottles, which work fine, but they have the Grolsch logo molded into the glass, so it's not a bottle you want to give to friends, and it's very difficult to put a label on. The bottle in the photo has smooth sides, so it can easily be personalized with your own clever labels.
Now - on the subject of the beer that's in the bottle - it's Moosbacher Kellerbier, brewed by the Private Landbrauerei Scheuerer in Bavaria. A Kellerbier, which literally means "cellar beer", is an unfiltered, highly hopped lager. Also known as a Zwickelbier, it is usually an amber color with very little carbonation. It's normally brewed in wooden casks, with the bung left loose, so that the fermentation gas escapes. This particular example is definitely the correct color, about the color of maple syrup. It was low in carbonation, but was definitely not flat. In fact, it had a decent 1 inch head when I first poured it, but I couldn't get the camera set up quickly enough to capture it in its full-headed glory. I really like Kellerbiers - they have more malt and flavor than a traditional lager. They're also a bit stronger. This one weighed in at 5.2 % abv. The only fault I found with this particular brew was a slight metallic aftertaste. Kulmbacher Mönchshof is another German brewer that makes a fine Kellerbier. It tends to be cloudier than this one, which points to its unfiltered nature. Mönchshof also uses these great bottles!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Grozet Gooseberry & Wheat Ale

Tonight, I had the 3rd choice from my "Historic Ales of Scotland" assortment - Grozet Gooseberry & Wheat Ale. I had never heard of a gooseberry until I started brewing, and then I noticed some gooseberries in the canned fruit section of our local supermarket. They're canned by Oregon, a very popular brand of fruit favored by brewers due to their lack of preservatives. Based on the picture on the can, a gooseberry looks a lot like a white grape. This was a very mild-flavored ale, and very refreshing as well. It poured a golden color, with almost no head. It didn't have the usual tartness of a wheat beer, but instead had a wine-like quality to it, presumably from the gooseberries. I'm not sure if there are any hops in this ale, because I certainly didn't notice any. So far, this assortment of ales has been a winner. Every one has been very enjoyable.

The AC is back!!

Well, my AC is back from the dead. The repairman took all of 30 seconds to spot the problem - a capacitor that had swollen due to a possible lightning strike. Come to think of it, there was a lot of thunder around the time we noticed that the house was getting hot. Thankfully, the capacitor was 63.00 rather than the 300.00 he estimated for the fan motor. Sometimes, luck does fall your way!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ruby Tuesday Emergency Dinner

At about 2pm this afternoon, I realized that the house seemed awfully warm, so I looked at the thermostat - yep - 83 degrees. Now what? The air conditioner was running, but the house kept getting warmer. This is Florida in August, so the outside temp was hovering in the mid 90's. I took a look at the outside unit, and the fan was just sitting there - immobile. #1?#$! air conditioner!! So, tomorrow the repairman will be here, but now the house is 85 degrees. My wife and I didn't feel like cooking dinner in a toasty humid house, so it was off to Ruby Tuesday's. We each had a big fattening burger and a Blue Moon Belgian White Ale. Blue Moon is one of my guilty pleasures. It's tart, refreshing and tastes great on tap with an orange slice thrown in. Sleeping will be a treat tonight. It rained, but the house is still 85. Hopefully with the windows open and the fans running, the slightly cooler outside air will come in.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gritty McDuff's Vacation Land Summer Ale

Tonight, I tried another beer from Gritty McDuff's Brewing. I posted about one of their other beers a while back. It was their Original Pub Style Ale. This beer is called "Vacation Land Summer Ale", and is just as good as the Pub Style. Vacation Land is an informal nick-name given to the state where this was brewed - Maine. Gritty McDuff's Brewing is in Portland, which is also home to Shipyard and Sea Dog. This was a nice refreshing ale, light in color with a big white head. It's much lighter colored than a pale ale. It had a nice distinct hop presence in the finish. It was nice to drink a summer ale that was not made from wheat. I have nothing against wheat beers, but sometimes I think the breweries feel that wheat beers are the only variety to drink during the summer. This light ale proves that it doesn't have to be so.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Homebrewed Scottish Ale

I couldn't stand it any longer - just had to pop the top on my Scottish Ale. It's been carbonating for 11 days, and I'm sure it's been long enough. It poured a deep amber with a very healthy tan-colored head. It's plenty malty, slightly sweet, and has some alcohol in the finish. The hops don't really come through much, but Scottish ales are not heavily hopped anyway. Unfortunately, the smoked malt isn't coming through either, so I guess I didn't use enough. All in all, I'm very pleased with the results.

For those interested, here's the recipe I used for 2.5 gallons:

3.3 lbs Briess Golden Light LME
3 oz Peat Smoke Malt (should have used more)
4 oz 120L Crystal Malt
4 Oz Vienna Malt
2 Oz Lyle's Golden Syrup (all that I had at the time)
8 Oz Munton's Extra Light DME
1/2 Oz Fuggles Hops for bittering (60 Minutes)
1/2 Oz Fuggles hops for finishing (5 minutes)
Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale Yeast

I used my usual procedure of putting the crushed grain in a gallon of water and then heating to 165 degrees. After removing the grain bag, I brought the wort to a boil and then added the first batch of Fuggles. At the 45 minute mark, I added the malt extracts and golden syrup. At 55 minutes, I threw in the 2nd batch of Fuggles. Then, into an ice bath to cool it down. Once it reached 80 degrees, I poured the wort into the fermenter which already contained a gallon of cold water. I then topped it off to the 2.5 gallon mark and pitched the yeast. Two weeks in the fermenter - 11 days in the bottle, carbonating with corn sugar - and 5 hours in the fridge before my taste test - that's the timeline. The finished product has more alcohol than a Scottish Ale should have, but I'm happy with it. The best part of homebrewing is drinking a successful experiment, as I did tonight. I know it will improve if I have enough patience. The last bottle of the batch is always the best one!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dogfish Head Immort Ale

Had I known that this was a Barley Wine when I took it out of the fridge, I probably would have made another selection. Not that I have anything against a particularly strong and sweet beer - since I have brewed plenty of them myself - but I think another variety might have worked better with my dinner. Dogfish Head in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware is one of the finest breweries in the country, and this is a perfect example of why I feel that way. This ale is brewed with maple syrup, vanilla, peat smoked barley, and then fermented and aged in oak barrels. At 11% alcohol, it is a sipping beer. It poured a deep amber, with almost no head. The first sip told me that smoked barley was one of the ingredients. I like a smoked beer, and this was a nice subtle touch. I could also tell that there was maple syrup involved, since I brew with that particular ingredient quite frequently. This is a sweet beer for sure, and definitely would be nice as a winter warmer in front of a fireplace, in a snifter. Oh well, I'll drink the next bottle of Immort Ale the correct way.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Schlitz is back!!

As a member of the latter part of the baby boomer generation, I remember Schlitz beer from my high school days. I don't remember much about it except for the jingle - you know - "When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of beer....". At one time, Schlitz was the most popular beer in the country, pre and post-Prohibition. Unfortunately for the company, they messed around with the formula in the 80's and basically ruined the beer. People stopped buying it, and it eventually just went away. Now owned by Pabst, the original formula has been found, and the brewer is bringing it back from the dead. I think they're hoping that nostalgia will create a market for it again. I think they might be right - I think there will be a market for it at first - folks who used to drink Schlitz are going to want to try it again. I know I'll probably give it a shot when it makes its way to Central Florida. I also know that beer tastes have evolved, and it may not make it in these craft beer times. Only time will tell. In the mean time, here's a classic Schlitz commercial:

And here's the jingle that I remember. I know, I'm dating myself.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager

I have to hand it to F.X. Matt - they produced a great dark beer with a real head on it. I couldn't fit the full 12 oz bottle in my glass because the head was so tall. It lasted a long time, with nice lacing too. Although the bottle calls this a lager, it had all the characteristics of a stout. Dark, roasty, lots of chocolate flavor, and a creamy texture don't usually point to a lager. This was from their Beers of Winter collection, of which I still have a few left. This was a really great beer!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pinkus Organic Munster Alt

I was a bit disappointed when I tasted this beer for the first time. I saw it at Whole Foods and decided to buy it because it was called an "Alt" beer. I had never tried an "Alt", but had heard good things about them. This is not the Alt style of beer - it's more of a blonde ale. It poured a light hazy golden color with an inch tall white head. If I had been given a glass of this beer without seeing the bottle, I would have sworn it was a wheat beer. It has a very tart and fruity flavor, for a non-wheat ale. The body was light, the finish was lightly bitter. It was an OK beer, but not what I was expecting. Pinkus is an Organic brewer in Germany, and Whole foods had two other varieties - a lager, and a weizen.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Flying Dog Garde Dog - a Biere de Garde

Flying Dog's Garde Dog is one of their "Seasonal" beers, and is in the style of a Biere de Garde. The name means "beer of keeping" in French, and is a Belgian style. It's traditionally unfiltered, brewed in March to be "kept" for several months and then drunk during the summer months. This is a well-carbonated version, and it has a healthier body than I would have expected in a beer of this color. It's not as heavy as a bock, but it has more body than a lager. This has an underlying fruitiness and is a little spicy in the finish. This is the first Biere de Garde I have ever had, so I can't comment on how true-to-style it is. I definitely enjoyed it, and could easily drink these during the warm weather.