Beers in Review: I'm Drinking It Right Now!

Way back when, I used to do the occasional “live to print” beer review, and I have one sitting in front of me. So, let’s going ahead an check out this offering from Westbrook Brewing Company. The Low and Slow Helles looks to be a new/limited offering (this is the first I’ve seen it, anyway) and their version of the classic German-style lager. Highly sessionable at 4.8% ABV, the beer pours a crystal clear pale yellow color with a white, pillowy head. Flavors are light, with cereal notes and a grainy sweetness that comes fairly standard in the style. Basically, think of your “preferred” mass-produced pale macrolager, but with quality ingredients and the flavors turned up to about 15. THAT is this beer. Tasty, crisp, perfect for the upcoming South Carolina summer.

Moving to the non-live portion of the post, we’re gonna stick with a German style in Brooklyn Brewery’s Unfiltered Pilsner. This beer checks in at 4.3% ABV (I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed 2 sub-5% beers in one review before) and pours a yellow straw or hay color with just a little bit of haze—really, it wasn’t as hazy as I expected it to be, given the name. Floral (early in the tasting experience) and grainy (late) notes make up most of the flavor profile, along with some peppery notes in the back side, as well. Solid, but not spectacular, and a little bit different offering out of the Pilsner category.

Finally, I didn’t intend on doing 3 different German styles, but here we are.

We recently passed the celebration of Mardi Gras, so no better beer to review than Louisiana-based Abita Brewing Company’s Mardi Gras Bock. 6.5% ABV, has a fairly light body, pours a clear light caramel color. Plenty of malt, floral notes, and sweetness present at the front, though the sweetness level was not too much for me. The back of the drinking experience was more grainy and bready, and there was something a tad wonky towards the very end and into the aftertaste. Not a bad beer, at all. Just a little bitter thing that stops it from being terrific.

Video Review: Brooklyn Defender IPA

I'll be honest. The blog is named "Pourly Reviewed Beer", with emphasis on the first two words, for a reason. I don't pretend to be an expert at this stuff, and sometimes, even when the palate isn't cooperating, you feel the need to push out some content. Especially when you haven't done a video review in 5 days. This is The Brooklyn Brewery's Defender IPA. I don't tell you much about, but it truly is a delicious beer. If you should find it, give it a try. I'll try to get back on track for Thursday's review.

Beers in Review: Two beers with a whole lot going on

A couple of beers still unwritten about from the weekend. First is Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace saison. It is named after a rare Japanese hop strain of the same name that was recently reintroduced to the hop supply thanks to farmers in Washington state. It pours a deep golden color, has a pretty light body, and has a pretty unique flavor profile. It contains a lot of fruity sweetness that blends with lemongrass notes, signs of that Sorachi Ace hop. Add to it some citrus notes, most notably lemon, and you have a complex saison that is very much worth drinking.

Our second beer is Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's Sixty-One, a hybrid ale combining their famous 60-Minute IPA with the "must" (pressed grape seeds and stems--thanks, Dad!) from Syrah red wine grapes. The wine influence is evident from the pour, as it is a ruby red to lightish red wine color. I wasn't getting a ton of aroma from my glass--certainly some red wine-like notes. The flavors were very balanced with toasty malts and hops combined with slight wine notes that were less evident in the sip came through more in the aftertaste. Overall, another very complex beer.

Beers in Review, weekend of 8/28: 4 and 1/3 beers

I've been a long-time fan of Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, NY). The availability ebbs and flows here in South Carolina. I find the Lager to be solid, and have heard very good things about Sorachi Ace, but the home run hitter for me was the Pennant Ale. I discovered one summer about 4 or 5 years ago, and literally couldn't stop buying it.

It had been a while since my last Brooklyn beer, but I found the Brooklyn Brown Ale at Pinch a few weekends ago, and remembered why I was a fan. I'm starting to move out of the brown/red ale phase a bit, but I found the Brooklyn Brown to be quite enjoyable. It contained a good amount of maltiness, which I enjoy (especially the roasted variety). Also a mild hoppyness which, for me, combined with a caramel sweetness. A nice balance and pretty smooth.

I call Boulder's Hazed and Infused (which is now simply known as "Hazed", no doubt a result of some cease-and-desist letter from Hollywood) a gateway beer for one wanted to start their journey towards the hoppyness of IPAs. This session pale ale has some evident hop notes, but puts a lot of the focus on a fresh, clean beer that combines with a peach or apricot sweetness. With those evident hop notes, but not much of the normally-accompanying bitterness, this "Hoppy Session Ale" was one of the first hoppy beers I tried and legitimately enjoyed. Hazed served to be a first step to my enjoyment of stronger and more bitter pale ales and IPAs.

The goal of this blog is not to diss the pale lager crowd, despite certain producers' disses of the craft beer industry (Pumpkin Peach Ales, anyone?). Regardless, the Miller Lite rep was in a local bar and bought everybody an aluminum bottle. I drank about a third of it. It was about what you'd expect.

Terrapin's Liquid Bliss is a damn tasty beer. Liquid Bliss is their chocolate peanut butter porter, with a good combination of both. I found the peanut butter to be prevalent in the aroma and the aftertaste, while the chocolate side seemed to dominate the in-mouth taste. Very tasty, but can be a bit overpowering if drank quickly--enjoy as a sipping beer, and you will be well-rewarded.

Swamp Cabbage is one of the newest breweries in Columbia's quickly-emerging local craft beer scene. Just over a year old, their ESB is one of the more commonly-found beers in Columbia's bars and restaurants. It's pretty clean, with a small amount of bitterness. Overall, a pretty solid ESB.