Tonight, Jason Ebel spoke about beer at Brasserie Jo, focusing a little on the Two Brothers history, and highlighting the maltier, winter offerings of the brewery. One hour and four beers and Jason Ebel converted a room to the cause of craft brewing, though surely some present were already devotees.
The night began with Domaine Dupage French Country Ale, a Biere de Garde, inspired, according to Jason, by an ale from Le Brevent, France. A great brew to start a night of malty brews with a great caramel toast aroma, Domaine Dupage is a sweet full bodied ale brewed with vienna and munich malts. A hint of yeast in the aroma suggests the country ale influence (think French, amber version of saison maybe), but its the balance between sweet toasted bread notes and spicy hops in the finish that make this one of the easiest drinking Chicago-brewed ales.
The next stop on the Two Brothers beer train was the aptly named Bare Tree Weiss Wine. Brewed to barley wine alcohol levels but with the ingredients of a German Hefe Weizen, this beer is an annual, but little talked about Two Brothers special. Yet to be released, this was a sample right out of the aging tank, with no carbonation. This is how homebrewers drink their beer just before calling it finished and getting around to the bottling or kegging phase. This is franken weizen! The aroma is pretty true to the Hefe Weizen style, but with a little more punch in the nose. The first sip was sweeter than the aroma suggested, and besides apricot and banana, which the accompanying tasting notes suggested, I got a bit of green apple too. This beer ended drier than most hefe weizens, and stuck to the tongue. Same feeling as an imperial IPA, without the pine.
Two beers still to talk about, the rest of this week is dedicated to Two Brothers. Third at the tasting was Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout, and fourth was the newly released artisan series beer, Red Eye Coffee Porter. Two other favorites, Heavy Handed IPA and Cane & Ebel Red Rye, were missing from the tasting, but need to be discussed as well.