Tuesday, August 10, 2010

AlphaBeer III - A Recap

Based on my handwritten notes, I had a fantastic time at AlphaBeer III back in early July. No notes made it to paper on the last 1/4 of the AlphaBeerbet, and a few are missing from during the earlier parts of the tasting, because I ended up sharing my thoughts with Jim McCabe, our tour guide through the AlphaBeerbet, and Brewmaster from Milwaukee Brewing Company. Much thanks to Jim, and Theresa Carter of The Local Tourist, for hosting. Alphabeer IV is on October 22nd, in Milwaukee, at The Blackstone.

A - Avery New World Porter: Always a solid beer. Intense starting point. The roasted malt flavors are dominated by chocolate in the finish. Ends, unlike the drier british-style porters, with a lingering sweetness. Nice medium bodied, "serious" beer.

B - Brooklyn India Pale Ale: Bitter at first, with champaign-like carbonation that brings out the grapefruit citrus of the hops. Still, I've always wondered if there's any British hops used as well, melding English IPA with American IPA.

C - Curmudgeon Old Ale, Founder's: A huge sweet malt aroma of toffee, vanilla, caramel, and butterscotch. Hint of bourbon even, as the aroma of this beer's high ABV melds with those typical bourbon flavors. Aged in a bourbon barrel. An annual favorite of OMG BEER!

D - Dark Horse Amber Ale: Belgian yeast spin on an American Amber, bringing out a slightly tart, green apple cider flavor. As it warms a bit of sweetness comes out. Recently paired by OMG BEER! with Mapo Dofu (a spicy chinese pork and tofu dish). Fantastic, unique beer from Michigan.

E - Eel River Certified Organic Porter: a british-style porter, with a more coffee and roasted malt flavor than the Avery porter. A lighter mouthfeel as well, with an earthy hop finish bittering some milk chocolate.

F - Founder's Pale Ale: A pleasantly carbonated, classic American Pale Ale. Cascade hops give it a citrus/grapefruit aroma, and the taste starts with that, then a hint of malt breadiness, and then a drying bitterness on the tongue.

G - Goose Island Summertime Ale: this kolsch-style summer ale is fruity, pleasantly reminded me of that childhood classi, 5 Alive.

H - Harpoon Summer Ale: another kolsch (so says my notes, I never looked it up, based it on my tasting), more subtle than the Goose Island Summertime.

I - Iron City Lager: Pittsburgh's PBR.

J - Jolly Pumpkin La Roja: nice sweet & sour combo that reminded me (at the time) of a cherry cider, without any cloying sweetness and a refreshing tartness.

K - Krankshaft, Metropolitan Brewing: fruity bread, a hint of raisins. amazingly, an aroma that almost suggested refried beans.

L - Louie's Demise, Milwaukee Brewing:

M - Moose Drool, Big Sky Brewing: delicious and very drinkable brown ale.

N - New Belgium Skinny Dip: keffir lime leaves, you can just catcha hint of lime flavor and an almost slight bitterness that reminds one of lime rind.

O - Ommegang Hennepin: a fizzy chardonnay, without the oak, and with a touch of fruitiness and spice.

P - Pullchain Pale, Milwaukee Brewing Co: a delicious almost dill pickle aroma. A notch below Founders in overall drinkability, but equal in flavor. From a craft-quality can!

Q - Quilmes Lager: Argentina's answer to macro lagers.

R - Red Rye, Founder's: another OMG BEER! favorite. At this point in the tasting, all I could write is "Done and Done, I, We love it." I went to this tasting alone, so multiple personalities agreed.

S - Summer Shandy, Leinenkugel:

T - The Poet, New Holland: Despite the use of The to get a "T", the beer notes start with "fuck yeah." I love this beer. Chocolate finish, creamy coffee, even a hint of hops in the aroma. Ends with a coffee bitterness aided by the hops. Creaminess in the middle is from oatmeal.

U - Unibroue La Fin Du Monde: my only notes were that this is a killer beer, but also killer at the end of the tasting with it's ABV.

V - Victory Golden Monkey:

W - Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen:

X - Xingu Black Lager (Brazil):

Y - Young's Double Chocolate Stout:

Z - Zielder-Brau, Milwaukee Brewing: a homebrew recipe of Jim's made in their brewery now, but given a slightly altered name for the tasting? I think he said this was sort of an Alt/Scottish ale hybrid.

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