Posts tagged ‘three pints’

Long Trail Brewing Company: Blackbeary Wheat

And I’m back! Got internet on Friday, took off to Wisconsin for a friend’s wedding for the weekend, and now writing a beer review!

Today’s selection is from Vermont’s Long Trail Brewing Company. Blackbeary (yes, that’s spelled correctly) Wheat is an American wheat beer with a hint of blackberry flavor.

As you can see, it’s pale gold in color, and is basically clear. It has a mild blackberry aroma, and a slightly stronger blackberry taste. It’s not very bitter at all–mostly tastes like you squeezed blackberry juice into a typical American wheat beer.

Blackbeary Wheat, because it is light and not bitter, is a great thirst-quenching session beer. It went quite well with the baked salmon I was eating along with it, but I wouldn’t eat it with anything that had a very strong flavor. I bet it’s good with tilapia.

While this was a decent beer, it wasn’t particularly interesting or memorable, so it only gets a 3-pint rating.

Try this if you like: American wheat beers, Ithaca’s Apricot Wheat, or Southern Tier’s Raspberry Wheat.

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Dogfish Head: Festina Pêche

Dogfish Head is probably one of America’s best craft breweries–not necessarily because everything they brew is fantastic, but because they are willing to try new and exciting things. Sometimes they succeed in incredible ways. Bitches Brew, anyone? Unfortunately, sometimes they also fall short, like tonight’s selection.

Festina Peche did just about everything a BerlinerWeisse beer is supposed to do–I just didn’t like it. Too much peach and not enough of anything else.

And the bottle was so pretty too...

Festina Peche is a mildly cloudy, golden yellow beer brewed with peach extract in the BerlinerWeisse style, which basically means an intensely sour light beer. Traditionally these beers are served with raspberry syrup to combat the tartness, but the extremely strong peach flavor more than eliminates the need for extra sweetness.

The aroma is VERY peachy–it was a little overpowering. The taste of peach was also a little overpowering. According to Dogfish Head, the beer is “delicately hopped”, which evidently means you won’t taste any bitterness whatsoever. I really could have gone for just a hint of hops. Something to combat the peach.

Did I mention peach? That’s really the only word you need to describe this beer. Ignoring the intense flavor, which by the end was making me a little nauseous, Festina Peche did have some good points. It’s incredibly smooth–almost silky, in fact. It is also highly carbonated, but low in %ABV (only 4.5), so it’s a good summer refresher.

I really, really didn’t like the taste of this one, but based on what I know about the style, it does what it is supposed to do–so I’ll give it a higher rating than I really want to.

Try this if you like: Bell’s Oarsman, New Belgium Lips of Faith

Old Dominion Brewing Company: Oak Barrel Stout

I’m always a little wary of true American Stouts. They just don’t seem to have much flavor unless you are specifically having a chocolate, coffee, or oatmeal stout. Though, every once in a while you find some fantastic gems amongst the roughage. Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout comes to mind.

Old Dominion’s Oak Barrel Stout, however, was not one of the aforementioned gems. Don’t get me wrong, it was by no means a bad beer. However, it left a lot to be desired.

The aroma of this beer was faint roasted malts and coffee. It tasted about the same. A friend said it reminded him of Guinness (the kind you buy in America) and I agree. It was just too plain for my tastes. Oak Barrel Stout does, however, have an excellent mouthfeel: smooth and creamy.

It was a good stout, but I wish it had just a little bit more.

Try this if you like: Guinness

Smuttynose Brewing Company: Star Island Single

Today’s selection is from a brewery new to the blog: the Smuttynose Brewing Company. Located in Portsmouth, NH, it’s been around for a short 17 years. But if the Star Island Single is any indication, these (relative) newbies are good at what they do.

This medium-bodied golden session ale has a distinctly fruity aroma. It is clear and smooth, with the slight taste of hops balanced by fruit and honey flavors. It finishes crisp and dry, which made me just want to drink more of it! It was incredibly refreshing for being so crisp. I would definitely drink this on a hot summer day. It was also ranked #5 in the 2010 U.S. Open Beer Championship in its category.

Try this if you like: very drinkable beers (see my Summer Shandy review), beers that aren’t too bitter

Tröegs Brewing Company: DreamWeaver Wheat Ale

Despite not pouring this beer correctly (yes, there is a correct way to pour different styles of beer) tonight’s selection from Tröegs was pretty darn good. I’m becoming quite impressed with this brewery. I hope they distribute in Chicago.

Ignore the lack of head on this pour. I said I didn't do it right.

The DreamWeaver Wheat Ale is an unfiltered wheat beer that reminded me a little of a Hefeweizen, which would not normally be a good thing, but it turned out alright! The first thing I noticed was how much it smelled like a wheat beer. I also got a hint of spice and fruit in the scent. Then came the taste: more spice, more fruit, more wheat. The fruit is a new one for my beer palate: banana. Thankfully it’s only hints of it, otherwise I’m not sure how I would feel.

One thing I will definitely say about this beer: it’s thirst-quenching. It isn’t too bitter or too dry, and it’s quite light. It would be an excellent “relaxing at the end of the day” kind of beer.

Try this if you like: Hefeweizens, Blue Moon, or other wheat beers (see my review on Indian River Light)

War Horse Brewing Company: American Black Lager

Sorry for the lack of posts. I have been wholly unmotivated of late—and I’ve been drinking a lot of Summer Shandy, and I can’t write multiple reviews about the same beer.

Tonight’s beer of choice is another one from the War Horse Brewing Company in Geneva, NY. I’ve already reviewed their excellent Riesling Ale, so it was time for another of their great beers.

The American black lager is a creamy beer with a mild chocolate/espresso scent and a slightly hoppy, espresso-y taste. It is smoky like a stout–but with a clean, crisp finish because it’s a lager. Perfect for those of you who like dark beer but don’t always like the heaviness of most dark beers. It would even be great for curling up with around the campfire with some S’mores. Or perhaps I just want to go camping. Either way, this is a pretty decent beer.

Try this if you like: dark beers, or any beer with a mild bitter/chocolate taste

Homebrew: Oatmeal Stout by Matthew

I have quite a few friends who brew their own beer, and I’d like to start doing it myself once I move and my life calms down a little bit. With a little bit of practice, my friend Matthew has gotten quite good at homebrewing (just wait till you read my review of his Spotted Cow clone.) Since his beer is not (yet) available in stores, I’ve decided to talk a little bit about his homebrewing process. Once I finish reviewing his beer, of course!

Sadly I have no pictures of this beer, but then again, the beer was brewed in a plain brown bottle.

Matthew’s Oatmeal Stout is upon first sniff, most definitely an oatmeal stout. One point for him! It’s creamy, malty, just a hint of bitter, and full of good oaty taste. I would like to see a bit more espresso or chocolate flavor just to shake things up a bit though. All in all, I’m giving his oatmeal stout a solid 3 pints.

Some of you may be wondering what you need to start brewing your own beer. The American Homebrewers Association is a great resource for how to get started, and other related topics. Happy brewing!

Matthew got his equipment from South Hills Brewing Supply in Pittsburgh (and he says their store is better than their website.) Check out the AHA link above to find homebrew stores near you. He gets his ingredients from Austin Homebrew supply (here’s the oatmeal stout kit he used) or Northern Brewer, which has retail stores in St. Paul, MN and Milwaukee, WI.