A Right Coast Sample

November 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

Goose Island Halia 2013 $23/750ml 7.5% While some have questioned Goose island’s quality after being purchased by AB/InBev, I have found my favorites like Maltida & Sofie to be rock solid. This sour peach ale is brewed with Brettanomyces Claussenii , aged in wine barrels and has fifty pounds of peaches per barrel. Straw yellow in color, a creamy light head that coats the sides of the glass. Noticeable sourness & funkiness compete on the nose, while the peach is a secondary contributor. In the mouth nothing overpowers, sour, funk, & lovely fruit play nice, allowing you to enjoy all three. I look forward to trying the blackberry, strawberry & cherry versions as well.
Ommegang Wild at Heart $15 $750ml 8% When a beer comes from a series called Brewmasters Obsession, there is a good chance you are in for a treat. Wild at Heart is brewed with the Bacteria Brettanomyces which in itself is regularly seen in beer, unique though is using “Brett” as the only yeast in the initial fermentation. Yellow orange hue, with orange, boiled egg & yeasty toast notes, this strong golden/tripel style ale hides its 8% alcohol content, has a smooth texture on the mouth, with nice banana, spice & a lingering sweetness. I expected more funk from a Brett only fermented ale.
Stillwater Artesian Ales, Stateside American Farmhouse Ale $10/4pk 12oz. 6.8% Brian Strumke, a self avowed “Gypsy” brewer, who’s extreme dedication to his craft, produces some of the best Saison/Farmhouse ales in the world. He is also a frequent collaborator with fellow brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergso of Mikkeller. Beautiful deep yellow golden color, lovely but subtle stinkiness on the nose with lemons, orange peel, spice, and a little pepper thrown in the background. A Medium bodied ale that could be a benchmark for Saison in the United States.
Manneken-Penn $4/ 12oz. 7.5% The official beer of the 2013 Philly Beer Week, the biggest such event held on the right side of the USA. a collaboration from Yvan De Baets of, Brasserie de la Senne (producer of the infamous Manneken Pis label), Chris Wilson of Weyerbacher brewery & Tom Peters of Monk’s Cafe fame. A Belgian style dubbel, caramel red in color, alcohol hits you on the nose, malty but piney, spicy Belgian yeast, butterscotch & chocolate make for a complex dubbel. The finish is surprisingly hoppy, a nice take on a classic style.
Dogfish Head, American Beauty Ale $13.50/750ml 9% Sam Calagione needs no introduction when it comes to American craft beer & this imperial pale ale in collaboration with the Grateful Dead, is a stunner! A contest had their fans , “Deadheads”, suggest the final ingredient, which was granola. Deep Reddish hue, vanilla, Cheerios, spice & a piney sweetness are complimented by the maltiness, at 9% you can tell this has great body but has no alcoholic waft, perfectly balanced, one of the best hop-centric beers I’ve had in awhile.
Three Heads Brewing Oatmeal Red Ale $10/4pk 12oz. 6.6%  Another heartwarming tale of three beer lovers crazy enough to open their own brewery. Slight reddish caramel color, light carbonation, beautiful spicy rye bread & hoppy nose, hops dominate the flavor but the malt & oatmeal remind me of the sweet smell of grains boiling into wort.
Springhouse Brewing Co. The Martians Kidnap Santa Eggnog Stout $7.50 22oz. 8.3%  From Lancaster Pa., the home of the simple living Amish, this beer is anything but simple. Coffee color, with chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, crème Brulee & coffee blasting your nostrils, you are then overpowered with vanilla, nutmeg, coffee & chocolate in the mouth. Could see non-beer drinkers liking this, but too over the top for me, Imperial Russian it’s not, a novelty at best.

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