Posts tagged ‘wheat’

End of Summer: Otter Creek Brewing-Otter Summer

Even though it’s probably going to be about 90 degrees today, I’m doing my last summer beer review until probably next April or May. So here we go, with Otter Creek Brewing‘s Otter Summer.

Otter Creek Brewing is a Vermont-based brewery (apparently I really like Vermont beer) and by the beer selection on the website, it appears to be pretty small. There are 3 year-round brews and 3-seasonal brews (a Summer, Oktoberfest, and Winter.) I’d like to get my hands on the Oktoberfest, but for now, let’s talk about the Summer!

Style: American Wheat Characterized by a light golden color, high carbonation, and moderate bitterness. Not very fruity.

Overall Impression: All bite and no bark. Since this is a summer beer, I was expecting a little bit of fruitiness. It would have been a great balance to the otherwise hoppy flavor. Then again, it is pretty true to the style Otter Creek claims they are going for.

Appearance: Light golden in color, with easily visible carbonation bubbles. Little to no head retention.

Aroma: Mild hoppy scent, not much else to smell here.

Taste: Mostly hops. Not overly bitter, but there isn’t much else to taste here.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean.

Try this if you like: Sam Adam’s Summer Ale, Bell’s Oberon.

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Middle Ages Brewing Company: Swallow Wit

Of course, I finally get around to reviewing a Syracuse beer after I’ve left ‘Cuse. (In my defense, I had tonight’s selection from a keg at my going-away party…and then bought a bottle so I could review it properly.)

I’m also going to try a slightly new format for the blog. I want to stay accessible to those who don’t know much about beer and who want to branch out, but also to fall more in line with traditional beer reviews. I’ll be following Beer Advocate’s reviewer guidelines. You’ll have to let me know if you like the new format.

Tonight’s selection is Swallow Wit, a typical Belgian Witbier, from the Middle Ages Brewing Company in Syracuse, NY.


Style: Belgian Witbier. These beers are pale and cloudy (which means they are unfiltered,) and generally spiced with coriander or orange peel. I’ve reviewed quite a few of these style beers (this might just be my favorite style, actually) and they are very popular in America. And–American breweries tend to be very true to style with these beers.

Overall Impression: This beer is great. It’s fairly mild and with a low alcohol content, so it would make a great session beer. It would probably be good with hot or spicy foods (like my favorite bar food, buffalo wings.)

Appearance: As you can see from the photo, Swallow Wit is a cloudy, gold beer. Good head when poured, but doesn’t retain. Mildly carbonated.

Smell: You can tell this is a Witbier even without looking at it. It has that spicy/fruity aroma which is so typical amongst these beers.

Taste: Excellent. It has a mild initial bitterness which fades as you sip. It tastes exactly like it should: a wheat beer with orange and coriander.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light. Doesn’t linger on your tongue (no aftertaste.)

Try this if you like: Blue Moon, Indian River Light, Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat, Great White, Partly Sunny

5 Stars

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.

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)

Heartland Brewery Part 2

The next edition of the Heartland Brewery macro-review will cover the Harvest Wheat and Red Rooster Ale.


So this is the Harvest Wheat. It had a citrusy aroma and an overly wheaty taste. Once I squeezed the lemon in, the wheat taste became overpowered by lemon. As you can see, it’s cloudy, so it is an unfiltered wheat beer. You don’t taste much for hops…mostly wheat. Did I mention wheat? All in all, this was not my favorite, but it wasn’t too bad.

Try this if you like: Hefeweizens

 

 

Next up is the Red Rooster Ale. Now…I’m a little biased because I absolutely love reds, and this was no exception.


I haven’t had a really good red ale in awhile. The Red Rooster cured that. It had a malty, caramely aroma and the same sort of taste. It was smoother than any other red I’ve had (probably because it was an ale and not a lager) and it was refreshingly hoppy. While I couldn’t drink this for hours, it’s definitely a beer to sip and enjoy.

Try this if you like: Sam Adam’s Irish Red, Leinenkugel’s Red, Sierra Nevada

5 Stars