Posts tagged ‘favorite brew’

New Glarus: Raspberry Tart

If I had to drink only one brewery’s beers for the rest of my life, hands down I would pick New Glarus. I’ve probably said this before, actually. Well it still holds true with this Raspberry Tart. This beer was a Christmas gift from my brother and sister-in-law and it’s just been ageing in our pantry ever since. (By the way, I cannot decide which spelling of “ageing” I like better…or is it “aging”? Gah!)

This Raspberry Tart may just be The Fruit Beer. It’s that good.

apologies for the poor quality

Google a better image of this beer. You’ll be able to see just how beautifully red it is. It’s like shining like through a ruby. Also, this is meant to be served in a champagne flute but apparently I don’t have any of those….

Style: New Glarus claims this is a framboise, which basically means a Belgian lambic beer that’s brewed with raspberries. BeerAdvocate gives it the highly generic term “Fruit/Vegetable Beer.” I’ll go with New Glarus because it sounds fancier. Basically, in these beers the fruitiness dominates over the malt and hops. The boyfriend wasn’t even sure it was beer. But believe me, it is.

Overall Impression: RASPBERRIES!!! You know that meme “Clean ALL the things!!!”? Well this is “use ALL the raspberries!!!” But it’s good. It is damn good. I really, really hope you like raspberries though. If you do not enjoy fruity alcoholic drinks, stay away and leave some for the rest of us.

Appearance: Ruby-red and clear. You can see the carbonation. It resembles a sparkling wine, actually.

Aroma: RASPBERRIES!!

Taste: RASPBERRIES!! There is a slight hint of bitterness in the aftertaste (barely.)

Mouthfeel: Like sparkling wine. Goes down smooth though if you can handle all the fruit. I probably could have drank the entire bottle myself.

Try this if you like: Naked Dove’s Berry Naked, Wisconsin Belgian Red, Blackbeary Wheat, just about any true fruit beer. Shandies do not count.

5 Stars

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Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen

Since it’s the end of summer, that means it’s time for that wondrous beer season known as “Oktoberfest.” Or at least that’s when every brewery in the world comes out with their fall beer which is usually named “Oktoberfest” or sometimes “Octoberfest.” There’s even Hoptober.

Today’s selection, from what I hope will be a long, long train of fall beers, is a traditional Bavarian lager (which I found at Trader Joe’s, of all places.) It comes from the Ayinger Brewery, in Aying, Germany (just southeast of Munich, the home of Oktoberfest.) And also, because the bottle caps were so neat, this beer gets TWO pictures!

Isn’t that a neat bottle cap? Anyway, on to the review.

Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest. These beers are typically full bodied, and have a toasty/roasted taste. They will also have a higher alcohol content than your typical lager. These beers are usually copper to dark golden brown in color, with mild bitterness from the hops.

Overall Impression: A. maz. ing. I absolutely loved this definitive Oktoberfest lager. There may be more trips to Trader Joe’s in the future just to get it. If you can find this, GET IT!

Appearance: Coppery color, great head retention.

Smell: Mild hop notes with also hints of malt.

Taste: The hops float in and around the malt taste–so you don’t have much of a bite, more like a nice background bitterness. Excellent balance with the grains of the malt. Lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Thicker than you might expect if you’re not used to German lagers.

Try this if you like: Spaten Oktoberfestbier Ur-Marzen, Hofbrau Oktoberfest Bier. Definitely try if you’ve never had a real German Oktoberfest lager!

5 Stars

Leinenkugel’s: Summer Shandy

I have been (not so) patiently waiting for this beer to hit shelves in New York since it last left shelves. Shandy season is my favorite time of year….and there’s good reason for it. I. Love. Summer Shandy. In fact, I love it so much that I am willing to pay the exorbitant six-pack prices here in New York. And…on to the review!

So…what is shandy? Shandy is the term for beer mixed with lemonade. If you took Leinie’s Honey Weiss and mixed it with lemonade, you’d get Summer Shandy. Leinie’s calls it “the perfect summer refresher” and I completely agree. After a hot day of laying on the beach or sitting out on the balcony reading, all I want is one of these.

Summer Shandy is light, crisp, and very citrusy. You can tell it’s brewed with lemonade just by smelling it. It has a lovely golden color and pours fairly clear with a decent head. I could drink this beer for days. Literally, ’cause it’s only 4.2% ABV. It is not bitter at all, so for those of you who don’t like the taste of hops, this is a good one for you.

I don’t have any “try this if you like these” suggestions because I’ve never had a shandy from any other brewery. If you know of one, I’d love to try it. (Side note: mixing Berry Weiss with lemonade makes it a hundred times better.)

Now, maybe this beer technically isn’t worth five stars, but this is MY blog and this is one of MY favorite beers, so take that, arbitrary rating system.

5 Stars

New Glarus Brewing Company: Spotted Cow

Today I’m reviewing one of my favorite beers from one of my favorite breweries. The worst thing about this beer? It’s only available in Wisconsin. While in college in Minnesota we’d occasionally make runs to the border to get New Glarus beer, among other things (196 proof Everclear, to name one.)

New Glarus Brewing Company (in New Glarus, WI), is a family run brewery in small-town southern Wisconsin. I have never tried a beer from them that I didn’t like. I don’t know if New Glarus considers Spotted Cow to be their flagship brew, but it’s definitely the most popular.

Spotted Cow is a cask-conditioned light farmhouse ale which goes with just about anything. New Glarus lists 22 different foods which go well with Spotted Cow.  The yeast is left in the bottle which gives the beer a naturally cloudy color, and enhances all the great flavors. It’s a little fruity, not very hoppy, and very easy to drink.

New Glarus Spotted Cow

If you have the good luck to live in or near Wisconsin, pick one up and TRY it. Spotted Cow is perfect for any time of year and any beer drinker. It’s full of flavor, but not bitter or heavy. I could drink this all night, if not for the fact that I live in New York right now and the only way of getting Spotted Cow is for my wonderful parents to bring it to me.

I’ve yet to find a beer that tastes like Spotted Cow. If I had to pick something, I’d say that it’s a combination of a cream ale and a saison.

Try this if you like: Goose Island Sofie, Lift Bridge Farmgirl Saison.

5 Stars