Posted 8 hours ago

Preparing for the draught

I have all the best intentions as August looms and Friday I am going to try to go to one beer a day. Seems simple but it is summer and there is a lot of socializing going on next month. In the winter it is a lot easier: I just pour a Bourbon County/Bigfoot/Black Note and nurse it. Take note that I haven’t limited myself to bottle size nor strength so I have that going for me. 

Without going into much detail here are some things that I can recall having over the past couple of weeks:

Bent Paddle Day Pack Single Pale Ale > nice lower alcohol offering from West Duluth. I’m still not a fan of the Trail Series cans but at this point I think there are consumers who are buying based upon the visual appeal of packaging (like my parents who buy wine with “fun labels”). Another fine offering from the local leaders. Keep ‘em simple and true to style.

Anti-Hero IPA: From Revolution Brewing out of the Windy City. With a busy can design with a theme that kind of reminds me of the BU, this is yet another hop forward beer with loads of dank green hops. 

FOCOllaboration APA: NBB and Odell’s getting together to brew a tasty APA with now classic west coast hops. Nice and fruity. Had it on tap at Rathskeller.

I had a little session outdoors on the back patio of the Happy Gnome recently. Caught up with a relative, ate some pretty tasty marlin, and focused on summer beers. Very disappointed with the chemical aroma from most of the pours. I would expect such a celebrated pub to take better care of their process.

Steel Toe Sommer Vice: meh.

Furthermore Fatty Boombalatty> see last post. Good stuff.

Paulaner Hefeweizen: still wonderful

Clown Shoes Clementine: Nice wit with moderate spicing.

I had a sixer of Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss recently and I must say that it is perhaps the finest US example of a Bavarian wheat beer on the market. I cut my teeth on Widmer but this stuff takes the cake. Still drinking heaps of Summerfest from the can too. SN still has it going on full force. 

Let’s see, what else?

Crooked Stave Surette: Lovely beer! A great American interpretation of Saison.

Crooked Stave St. Bretta (winter): dark colored, oranges, brett, wine barrel sour. Yum.

Crooked Stave St. Bretta (summer): again oranges, golden color, very funky brett. Yum.

I skipped All Pints North as it was hot and I didn’t want to deal with the crowds. I heard that it was well attended and some tasties were poured. Not my cup o’ tea. Glad it’s happening though.

I swung by Mount Royal Bottle Shoppe last Friday for the little Deschutes tasting. I only grabbed tasters of a couple of things which were both good yet very green behind the ears. 

Deschutes Black Butte XXVI. An annual offering of imperial porter with this year’s version featuring pomegranate, cocoa, and cranberries. Surprisingly not too heavy considering the just under 11% ABV. Kinda tart with just a hint of bourbon from barrel aging. I bought one and will put it down to rest for a dark winter day in a year to come.

Deschutes Mirror Mirror > Ah, a barley wine in July! Take Mirror Pond and double the ingredients with the same amount of liquid and you get Mirror Mirror. How can you go wrong? Partially wine barrel aged this nectar clocks in at 11+% and is a mouth full! Only the third release in the last decade. The smart money is buying this while still on the shelves. 

I was lucky enough to get a sip of the Deschutes/Hair of the Dog Conflux #1 “Collage” that a customer brought in. The employees were clamoring over it so I mooched about a 1 oz. taste. After two years in the bottle it is pretty seamless with wonderful liquor barrel wood oozing into the mix. Wish that I had a chance to try more! Here is what Deschutes suggest pairing it with for food:

Turkey Paisano Sandwiches with Fig-and-Black Olive Vinaigrette
Figs and Dried Cherries Poached in Vanilla-Honey Syrup with Pistachios
Apple Raisin Bread Pudding

Who’s in??

Posted 2 days ago

Tasting the way it should be

I have been on a solid bender here for the past couple of weeks. Crazy how much beer and sipping tequila I have run through my liver. I’m thinking of taking drastic measures next month (only a few precious days away) and trying the one beer a day challenge. I am certainly not going to go bone dry and try cold turkey for the first time in my life but instead scale it back to one tasty bottle per day and actually try to write about them all. I don’t usually stick to anything so we’ll see how it goes.

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of gathering with the Tower of London, B, and Cain for a Monday night tasting. I had the idea of putting up some Belgian-style beers of similar ilk against each other while Cain was dying to try a special can of DIPA so we created two flights of four beers each. 

Caveat: None of us (obviously) are BJCP judges, cicerones, or any other fancy beer taster label. I could print out style guidelines to follow but instead we are just four guys who like beer, good company, and to talk shit. We held off commenting until after the rankings so as not to influence each other. I’m impressed by some of the consistency that shines through despite our lack of formal tasting education. 

Prior to the start of the Belgian-y round I popped a bottle of Pour Decisions Acerbity which is a Berliner Weiss style brewed down in Roseville, MN. This was my first beer from these guys and we were all pretty impressed with the nice lactic zing, wonderful wheat character, and refreshing quality of this 2.7% beer. Not sure why one would ever put syrup into the Berliner Weiss as when done well it is really good on its own. Screw lawnmower beer and shandys, this is where it is at when the mercury rises! Thanks to Bryan for giving me this bottle several months back.

OK so for round one of our tasting I poured four beers blind to the distinguished panel. I sourced most of these based upon the idea of putting Bent Paddle Blonde up against Surly Cynic Ale. I wanted to see how the ugly can would fare against the cool can (you interpret that). To add a couple more to the mix I threw in Furthermore’s Fatty Boombalatty (from Milwaukee) and then a 750 ml of Duvel that I had around. Two cans and two bottles, all tasted blind. 

For some reason when I first tasted the Bent Blonde I thought that it was somehow similar to the Surly. When lined up blind there weren’t two beers that were even close to each other in taste! 

I had a little side bet and asked the three other tasters which of the four beers they thought was actually Belgian. Two chose the Fatty and Cain (perhaps the son of the devil) chose Duvel. 

To keep this drivel someone succinct, here is the way it all shook out. 

Winner: Duvel (two first place votes)

Second: Fatty Boombalatty (one first, two second). 

Third: Surly Cynic Ale

Fourth: Bent Paddle Blonde (two thirds, two fourths)

As a group we were most impressed by the Furthermore offering. You can get six packs of this locally. It has nice Belgian bubblegum yeast flavor, fine finishing hops, very mild and old world like spicing, great carbonation (though not as much as Duvel!). Obviously we were least impressed by the Bent Paddle beer which was very dry bordering on thin and really lacked the Belgian character that the others offered. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After some pretzels and lively discourse the second flight was served up. I kind of dreaded having a double IPA tasting given my current leaning away from hop-centric beers. I was pretty surprised though about my tasting experience.

None of the four beers blew away my taste buds with IBUs. Certainly some were more bitter than others yet some were actually pretty approachable. This round was gathered by Cain and B. I had a can of Rodeo Clown DIPA in the fridge waiting for this tasting but the wife accidentally drank it (and really hated it BTW).

Like the first round, the DIPA series was had an outright winner and also a unanimous dog. 

Winner: Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Extra

Second: Alchemist Heady Topper

Third: Founder’s Double Trouble

Last: Great Lakes Erie Monster

The Lagunitas had an amazing aroma paired with fine malt presence and lower perceived BUs. Erie Monster’s aroma was more subdued with some fruitiness, dusty hop taste, and the most alcoholic heat. Heady Topper had more moderate bittering and what I thought were Simcoe-like cat piss hop flavor. Founders was loaded with back-end hops and a finish that lasted for ages. 

Although the gang needed to head home to family obligations, I ran down to the cellar and ended up pouring a fare-thee-well beer to give them something to remember (other than plain old hops). 

Avery Brewing Dihos Dactylion Barrel Aged Sour. WOW! Adam Avery came out with another truly amazing sour that left us awestruck. Bottled in February 2011 this baby was aged for a year and a half prior in cabernet barrel. Brett, Lacto, Pedio. Crazy sour, wood, wine and for me nary a hint of the underlying Saison base beer. Awesome! Thanks Smoker for getting me this.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Summertime and the living’s easy

My calendar has some smoke coming out of it from the pages moving so fast. I can’t believe that it is mid-July already. After a big steaming pile of horse shit for April, May, and June, this is when I want to slow down and enjoy the passing days. I’m doing my best but the moments seem rare when time slips by slowly. 

Brings me back to the Floyd:

"And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death”

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of putting a canoe onto a local lake with my pal the Tower of London. He has his hands full with work and kids and also was feeling the need for a chill session without watch or phone to just chew scenery, fish a bit, and sip on some cold ones.

Tis the season for the Velvet Rooster!

Still my favorite fishing beer with the rad can, 8.5% booze factor, nice Belgian yeast love, and a four-pack for under ten bucks. Hell if I took down all four I would be feeling fully loaded and for less than the price of two pints at any of our fine local drinking establishments.

The Tower and I talked literature, music, and anatomy while watching the water move and dropping out for a precious few hours. We ended up with a fresh can of Summit Summer Ale which was a nice follow up to the Tallgrass.

Last night I had my first and perhaps only pint of Bells’ Oberon.

I find it to be a nice summer quaffer and was struck by the hop presence that I didn’t recall from my last one perhaps two summers ago. 

The other day I was handed a shrink wrapped four-pack of 16 oz. Stiegl Lager in the purdy red can.

I was psyched to have been given such a gift and hurried to the lawn out back for a tall pilsner glassful. What greeted me was a metallic affront to my taste buds. Perhaps they don’t have the modern can lining technology that we have here but the beer reminded me of the old days drinking oil cans of Fosters. The beer was  nice and bright with perfect carbonation and some nice sweet bready malt but it was hard to work around the metal. I think that it dissipated a little after time in the glass (or my buds getting used to it). I may check to see if this is available in the bottle to compare. 

Last night I capped off my evening by sharing a fun one with my old pal Kev who I have known since about 1980. He said that he has been drinking a bunch of ciders on the east coast this summer and likes them but finds them too sickly sweet. Problem solved! I went down to the collection and pulled out a bottle of Spanish sidre which is a completely different beast from the insipid stuff that is offered to the masses (Woodchuck, Angry Orchard, Crispin, etc.).

I popped the cork on a bottle of Isastegi and promptly blew Kev’s road weary mind with the dry, dank, and sour. This is such an interesting cider and not for the faint of taste. It is quite sour and has some barnyard notes that suggest wild yeast or some sort of introduced funk (brett L?). It never ceases to amaze me what is out there if you dig a little bit and listen to the folks who work in the store. Turned on to me by the Ale Jail in St. Paul. 

Posted 4 weeks ago

21st Amendment Monk’s Blood

I would imagine that the 21st Amendment kind of ended a lot of back door fun. I probably would have had a speakeasy with a secret knock, lots of guns, a snooker table, dancing gals, and a jukebox loaded with oldies.

I think that the 21st Amendment Brewery out of San Fran is a fairly new player in our local market. They have an interesting canned line up and everything that I have tasted to date has been solid. If we’d ever get some warm weather their Hell or High Watermelon Wheat is great lawnmower beer that is eminently chug-gable. Back in Black is not a whole lot different from most black IPAs - decent if unremarkable. Bitter American is a really nice session beer that kicks ass over most other “low alcohol” craft beers.

Monk’s Blood is a wee bit more beastly than the aforementioned beers from this brewery. It is a big and bold Belgian style dark that has well meshed spicing added from cinnamon, vanilla, oak, and figs. If my math works, you could drink two Bitter Americans for every one Monk’s Blood and catch the same buzz (but have to piss more).

Monk’s Blood comes across as really quite sweet to my palate. Not a July 1 drinker but will be a most excellent addition to the high test canned quiver for cooler weather. It is thankfully low in bittering but high in flavor. I couldn’t drink multiples right now but I’d think in the autumn while raking leaves, riding bikes in the woods, paddling around Clough Island, etc it would be a dandy.

For now I’m sticking with Velvet Rooster and suggest that you do the same when all you want is a four pack of pounders to catch a stiff buzz and waste away a summer day.

BTW, Endion Station is rumored to be close to opening. It will be interesting to see what the Swedish Mafia serves up. Hopefully they will bring some new beers and an all together new food concept to the table.

Trying not to pass judgment on Glen Avon Church for spelling “judgement” on their sign today. I am truly a dick. 

Posted 4 weeks ago

Brain Dump

Of all places, I just got back from the skate park in Souptown and while over there found myself sipping on a Colt 45 tallboy which wasn’t half bad. Like the winner of our schwag beer tasting several months back (Schlitz), this malt liquor has some body to it and at a buck a can from the Hammond offers pretty good QPR. I can’t believe that I’m saying this but after staring down a sixer of Bent Paddle for over $10 I had to go all throwback today and was somehow satisfied. 

Admittedly, prior to going across the bridge to the land of hand slaps for DUIs, I pulled down a Pilsner Urquell (deelish as always) and also another Deschutes in the form of Hop in the Dark. Essentially another twist in the IPA world, this one pours really dark and has some lovely malt to better balance the 70 IBUs. Not one for everyday summer sipping but pretty decent. I’m still enamored by their XPA and Pine Mountain Pils so will stick with those while still in the store. 

So I have been working with Cain on trying to figure out a date to gather a few nerds and have of all things a Double IPA tasting (BTW, I actually saw a triple IPA at the Beer Cave today). I guess that it could be worse and we could be tasting a bunch of Scotch Ales but somehow I have to prep my tongue for the onslaught that is soon to come. 

I received a can of Rodeo Clown DIPA a couple of weeks ago and was going to toss it into the ring for the tasting but upon returning from a Pac-NW trip the other day I found that SWMBO drank it while I was gone. I get this “where did you get that clown beer” line and “it took me an hour to drink it and I poured half the can down the drain”. Funny how so many of my friends, casual acquaintances, and now family are all moving away from the hop bombs. TDL thinks that he is allergic as his sinus gets all pluggered every time he touches an IPA. Not sure what is going on but again I think that it has to do with some of us maturing on the craft beer curve. Hell if I know. Tastes change. I used to like Starbucks…

Not that long ago I found myself in Oregon for business and despite pissing rain out there I was able to get a couple of pops in and visit a fairly small beer store. What a mind blower that place is for beer geeks. When you think about MN having a booming beer scene, take a look at the numbers:

MN -  52 craft breweries (as of year-end 2013) which is 17th in the country and 21st per capita.

OR - 181 breweries which is 3rd and 1st per capita. 

Can you imagine having more than three times the companies making beer here? We have over a million more people than they have too. (Lucky bastards don’t have sales tax either)

I went into this fairly small neighborhood market and the shelf beers were off the hook! It has gotten to the point where there are so many that I have to imagine that like wine, some folks are buying based upon the artwork on the label. 

I really wanted to get over to Cascade in Portland to get in on their souring program but had to settle for Sasquatch Brew Pub which offered decent beers coupled with foodie food. What was impressive to me was that they had perhaps six Oregon sourced ciders to go along with the beers. Pretty cool ciders, some with single variety hops, others with interesting fruit blends. No funky yeasts listed but certainly a direction that some of the MN pubs could go in to satisfy both the gluten intolerant and those who oddly don’t like beer. 

I need to get out and try some more local beers this week. Getting stuck in a rut of XPA, Summit EPA, Pilsner Urquell, and Sierra Nevada Summerfest. Sometimes it is hard to get out and drink $5+ pints of local experiments when six packs are available at nearly the same price. It’s not like the economy is booming here in D-town. Brewhouse and CPB are packed with tourists and a lot of the local holes have reduced their choices by serving 2-4 Bent Paddles. Tough to find something new and different. I think that a bike ride down to 7 West and Grizzlies is in order. 

Posted 1 month ago

Deschutes tastiness

Lots of hubbub about our fair city competing to be the top outdoor town in America. Kind of surprising to have it come down to a hotbed of LDS conservatism versus the town with almost no summer. I can think of many better outdoor towns than these two but let the people decide. One such town in Bend, OR. Sure, we can dump on the Californication of Bend, the cost of living, blah blah but they sure do have nice outdoor things there. 

One great thing about Bend (besides great fishing, rafting, skiing, MTB riding) is Deschutes Brewery which solidly kicks butt on both Provo and Duluth brewers combined. I’ve had several posts mentioning their beers and despite having a slightly over-the-top PDX pub, they really know how to put out consistently great beer. 

I popped a couple of new bombers yesterday from a dwindling stack at the Beer Cave (they still have Mirror Mirror by the way if you want a fantastic cellar worthy buy).

First up was Cinder Cone Red which although never a style that I reach for was pretty smooth drinking with a little bit-o-honey flavor and very mild hopping. Easy to put down at just over 5% this is a decent beer but not one that I would get again given what I had next.

What is an XPA? I figured eXtra Pale Ale but in reading the label from Deschutes it translates to Experimental Pale Ale as it is the first beer made at the aforementioned public house in Portland. They state “consider this your next hop obsession” and I counter that with “consider this a beautifully balanced, perfectly hopped, pale ale”. In the same way that Summit EPA and Firestone Walker DBA have made their mark on me with excellent pale ales, I am adding XPA to the my short list. Do yourself a favor and go grab a couple of these bombers and see if your taste buds agree. I cannot imagine how good this would be on nitro at the pub. If I were Nick, I’d give it 10/10.

Posted 1 month ago

Black Listed

Briefly, I finally got around to trying Blacklist Brewing’s “Verte” which had been staring at me in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Three of us shared it in tulip glasses and our impressions were oddly quite similar.

Verte is a dry hopped version of Or de Belgique. I went back to my review of that from May of last year and was amused to find some similar themes: super tough corking and high carbonation. 

I wrestled with the cork on this bottle of Verte until it broke and had to resort to a corkscrew to extract such. I guess that this is a good sign for anyone planning on long-term storage. 

The beer poured perhaps a light orange brown with a slightly off-white head. Nice head retention and lively carbonation. Watch out if you try one of these as there was an unusual amount of sediment at the bottom. 

On the taste front there you could get some of the underlying Or de Belgique’s Belgian yeast character yet without some of the sweetness that I recall from a year ago. This dry hopped version is much higher IBU and has a dominating hop finish which I find distracting. 

Well-crafted, certainly this will be appreciated for it’s Duluth roots, higher alcohol content, and BUs but I like the original version better and still think that it is Brian’s best effort to date.

I hope that we see some of the beers that he has listed on his schedule!

Posted 1 month ago

The Goat of Lust

I was lured over to the dark side today when B and Cain approached me before noon with a glass of fresh Surly Pentagram. How could I resist? 

In typical Surly fashion, the bottle is a beauty with all sorts of symbols that I don’t understand other than the two points of the pentagram pointing up which is a nod to the big man downstairs and the “goat of lust attacking heaven with its horns”.

Oddly, this was my first taste of Pentagram even though I have a couple of older bottles stashed in the cellar awaiting bug development. 

Despite being too cold and subduing the flavor and aroma, I really liked this young beer and am inspired to buy a couple of this release and am also psyched about the two that I have sleeping in the cellar. 

Pentagram is a funky dark beer that has been fermented with Brett. and aged in red wine barrels. Though cold, I could taste wine, the Brett funk, some wood, and sweet malt. It isn’t a full bodied beer and I have read that it is 6.66% abv (doubtful but a fun idea in keeping with the theme). I’m pretty intrigued by this one for sure. 

The other dark sour that comes to mind is the New Belgium Lips of Faith Clutch which came out in maybe 2011. Clutch, IIRC, is more of a sour and less of a funk. I have a couple left and should pull one out to do battle with the aged Surly. Would be very interesting. Report to come.

I don’t know how long Pentagram will be around but if you like to squirrel away suds and like ‘em funky this would be a good candidate. 

Rock on

Posted 2 months ago

Some recent sessions

To continue my recent sporadic brain dumps, here are some recaps of suds that have gone down the gullet lately.

A few days ago I found myself going up the Palinesque stairs to nowhere over at Cain’s house. I parked a block away and passed some cornholers enjoying a game on the lawn in the rare of late Duluth sunshine. They were having a fierce game and for some reason I thought of Douche and his love of such sport. 

Billed as a short session with no theme, I brought some single bottles which when combined with Cain’s cellar contribution and B’s cider offering we had an interesting smattering of libations.

First up was Mikkeller Funky e-Star which is a Belgian Wild Ale from Copenhagen with a near psychedelic label.

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I picked up a couple of these in 2011 and this was the first tasting. Mikkeller puts out a TON of product that is all over the map in style, price, and bottle size. Lots of collaboration beers with American breweries too. I’ve had several from both bottle and on tap with mixed emotions. Funky e-Star is a pretty strange beast with interesting wood notes from barrel age that we couldn’t quite figure out. Sherry? Cognac? Tawny Port? Mikkeller did make a couple of wine barrel aged versions of this beer but this was not one of them. I thought that the element of “funk” was pretty subdued but there definitely were some Brett. notes to go with some malt sweetness and the mystery wood. At over 9% we were quite surprised by the lack of any sort of hint at the booziness. I’ll drink up the other in my cellar to make room for those with more potential. 

Next up was Bockor Bellegems West Flanders Ale which is an Oud Bruin from the motherland.

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It poured reddish brown and had a really nice sweet cherry aroma when swirled. We all liked this beer more than the Mikkeller and B thought that it was the perfect level of sweet and sour for his taste buds. Not too sticky sweet with a moderate level of sour cherry and nice wood notes. Too bad that we only had one small bottle to share as a full snifter and time would have revealed more impressions however we all liked it. I have been drinking a lot of in your face sours as of late and it was nice to have one that had more balance with the malt and other flavors. 

Up third, and the consensus star of the show, was Petrus Aged Pale.I have had the Aged Red several times and am only so-so about it - just too much like sweet cherry pie.

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I have looked around for quite some time to try this beer that comes with descriptors such as “World’s Best Specialty Ale 2011” “outstanding” “World Class”.  Oddly I found it over in Souptown (I sure wish that we had access to some of their distributors) and snagged a few. Wow am I glad that I did! Poured out of a 12 oz bottle, this baby is bright and gold with a stark white head. The aroma of lactic sourness seeps from the glass and in the mouth the beer is an all out assault of tart. Think about sitting in under a Granny Smith apple tree and biting into one while others are turning to vinegar in the sun on the ground. Damn this is great indeed! 

Just when I thought that I would back home and get some stuff done, Cain emerged with a can of the newest Bent Paddle brew “Paddle Break Blonde”.

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Marketed as a Belgian Style Blonde Ale in a can that breaks from their short graphic design tradition this beer was nice and snappy with good Belgian character and a crisp hop punch that works well. It is a nice addition to the Bent Paddle line-up (IMHO they still haven’t brewed a dud and are the hands-down star of the local brewing scene). I hope that Bent Paddle doesn’t overdo it with a bunch more of new cans. What they are doing is great and I’m sure that they are having a good time riding the wave. Their beers are true to style and a pleasure to drink (though spendy when considering the lack of transportation costs). I’d love to see them change over to 16 oz. cans. This Blonde was somewhat reminiscent of Surly’s Cynic Ale if my memory still works. I’m going to get a can of each and hit them up blind to see which I prefer. 

Lastly, I wanted to give (yet another) shout out to Goose Island for their recent Belgian style Tripel called The Ogden. I picked up a four-pack last week and have really been enjoying this dry hopped 9% beer. Not sure what the availability is going forward but it is at Mt. Royal Bottle Shoppe currently and is Snob Approved. 

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Posted 2 months ago

Lesser Known Styles

A couple of weeks back I met a pal at Sir Ben’s for a pop at the end of the day. Still the best atmosphere in town IMHO, the only thing missing is for Antonino to step up and actually produce the Italian wood-fired pizza oven he has promised for some time now. That place would be so kick ass if they had Neapolitan pies with tasty salads (a la Punch in the Twin Cities but cooked correctly). C’mon Antonino do it! You’ll be packed every night I promise.

Anyway, once in a while at Ben’s they have a “mystery beer” for $3 a pint. Sad that this is now a bargain price when it wasn’t that long ago (before the one-season long hop shortage) that this was the norm. I have had a few tasty mystery beers there (Bell’s Rye) and I’m sure that the distributor is just dumping a couple of past-expiration kegs sitting in the warehouse. 

When I asked the barkeep about this version I was told that it was 100% barley, no hops, and hefe-weizen yeast. Hmmm. Also that it was from Surly of all places. No brainer to give it a whirl and throw three bucks into the ring. Turns out that this beer is brewed in the style of Dampfbier which after some internetting I found out is a Bavarian concoction of all barley, light hopping, and indeed wheat yeast. Pretty interesting reading here

As a fan of restrained brews I found this to be nice and fruity with a dry finish and very little hop bitterness. Clean and crisp, certainly a bargain by today’s standards.

Another lesser known style that happens to be German is Berliner Weiss. Almost always very low alcohol and typically lactic and sour, this wheat based beer seems to making a resurgence. I have had a version at the Brewhouse a few times as well as a bottle from Pour Decisions out of Roseville as well as several in Berlin (but they were hard to find in the winter when I was there). It is refreshing and I love the tang ;)

Last week I scored a new offering from Schell’s down in New Ulm out of their Noble Star Collection > North Country Brunette. Bottled in March of this year, this is a Berliner Marzen Weiss  brewed with yeast, Brett. and lacto with some barrel aging. Very light with a lactic funk, this 5.4% is super refreshing. I’m going to get a couple more 750ml bottles from Mt. Royal and park it for a while to see if the funk develops. Recommended without reservations.

I’ve mentioned it before but if you like the snappy tart beers, give the New Belgium Snapshot Wheat a go this summer. I hope that this is an annual offering and will be around when we finally get a warm up. 

Belly be damned, I drank a bunch last night and will write them up ASAP.