Hi! How are you? I'm great. I was out and about across this great country of ours, and am ready to get back to the bloggery. I considered writing an editorial about Peyton Manning's blatant shilling for Budweiser post-SB50 (turns out he owns some distributors or something), but that's really become old news. So, let's just get into some beers, shall we?
We start with Uinta Brewing Company's Golden Spike Hefeweizen, which poured a deep orange and was cloudy (not unusual for Hefes to be unfiltered and cloudy). Most notable was the graininess; lots of bready and crackery notes going on, along some citrusy sweetness. Banana notes were also present. Overall, it hits a lot of the standard hefeweizen notes. It was maybe a little more grainy than I like my hefes, but that's a personal preference as much as anything.
A brewery that almost never disappoints (a trend that hopefully continues after their acquisition by Constellation Brands) is San Diego's Ballast Point Brewing Company. As expected, even something as "basic" as their Longfin Lager is better than most or all of the rest. Longfin pours a pale gold with little body but plenty going on, flavor-wise. Strong grainy and biscuity notes that mix with a hint of hops. There is also a bit of sweetness that points to its traditional German-inspired style. This is a beer that is crisp, clean, and easy to drink.
Finally, Duclaw Brewing Company's Dirty Little Freak. Labelled by the brewery as a "Coconut Caramel Chocolate Brown Ale", this beer pretty simply puts a hammer to that nail. It pours a moderate-to-dark brown but is translucent. Again, the flavors are pretty well spot-on coming from the brewers. Aroma-wise, the smells probably rate in strength chocolate-caramel-coconut. Flavor-wise, the chocolate notes are quite evident, with hints of coconut. The caramel tends to come through more at the end or in the aftertaste. The bottle also says it was brewed with vanilla beans, giving the whole thing an overall ice cream sundae type of flavor. They seemed to nail what they were going for, but it's a bit too sweet for my taste.