Beers in Review: A Sessionably (?) Fruity Pair

We start off today's BiR with a Session IPA from North Carolina's D9 Brewing Company. Swell Rider is officially listed as a Tangerine Session IPA (the ABV lines up at 5.1%) that is a year-round D9 offering, but it seems to get a bigger push in the summer (as evidenced by the addition of 16oz cans to the year-round bottle and keg offerings). It pours a slightly hazy light yellow, looking almost like a hazy white wine. The citrus aromas came through in a big way, and they carried into the flavor profile, as I got tangerine and orange, along with tangerine rind (which was also utilized in the bittering process of this IPA). The rind ramps up as it warms, serving to cancel out some of the more pure fruit notes. Despite the power of the rind, the general bitterness is more on the mild side, especially at the back of the throat towards the end of the drinking experience. This all serves well for a sessionable IPA, though. Very nice, overall.

Next up is a Salt Lake City-based brewery that I had only previously seen when travelling to the West Coast. A local bottle shop had Uinta Brewing Company's Birthday Suit Sour Cherry Blonde. Now, I can't be 100% certain, but a little bit of research leads me to think that this is Birthday Suit 19, with each edition of Birthday Suit numbered to reflect the brewery's anniversary each year. Uinta have entered their twenties, so this is likely either a rebrew or some other beer that I'm missing. This Blonde brought a lot of sessionable qualities, though the ABV is a little too high for a session beer (6.2%). The beer pours a nice hazy peach color, and is mildly sour and brings a whole lot of fruity cherry notes. There is also a mild funkiness in the beer, both in flavor and mouthfeel. To me, it was reminiscent of the gunky mouthfeeling of drinking cranberry juice or perhaps a lemonade from concentrate. I appreciated the relatively low sour level in this Blonde. It made the beer more drinkable, and ALMOST turned this into a legit session beer (held back only by that slightly-too-high ABV).

Beers in Review: I'm not dead edition

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.