Although I am not a huge fan of red ales, Lagunitas never lets me down so I jumped at the chance to pick up their Imperial Red Ale. The beer poured a deep copper mahogany color with a substantial off white head. The aroma was of a piney and citrusy hop with a bit of toffee malt underneath. The taste followed with an initial sweet malt that quickly jumped into a mega hop dose of slight resinous pine and more citrus and tropical fruit bitterness. It leaves a burnt toffee and hop bitterness on your tongue between pulls and even has hints of floral hops as the flavor lingers. This Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas has me back on the red ale fence. When done right like this one it is a wonderful hop journey over a bed of malty goodness. Great work once again from Lagunitas, and I will definitely be grabbing whatever comes next.
September 30, 2014
September 24, 2014
The Real Ale 18th Anniversary Gose was my first Gose which is typically a low alcohol unfiltered wheat beer that includes ground coriander and salt as well as lactic acid in the boil which creates a crisp twangy and refreshing brew. Real ale added pureed whole lime as well which give their gose a distinct twist. The beer poured a hazy gold with a bubbly white head. The aroma had distinct lime and wheat beer qualities but was overwhelmingly lime centered. The taste was sharp and crisp that started with the bready wheat and hint of salt but quickly spiked to a tart lime that faded to a bready lime dry finish. It was very light and refreshing which mads a perfect summer brew in Texas. While I expected more salt for the style, the lime definitely dominated and accentuated the tart characteristics of the style. I was pleasantly surprised with this beer and the gose style that I want to try again. I hope Real Ale releases this every summer!
September 14, 2014
We are trying to kick off the end of these excessive heat with session beers. Beers below 5% abv. This was a surprisingly varied, but very good group of beers. The Save the World Humilus Filius was an extra a little above 5% abv, but we let that slide. I enjoyed all the selections and we made sure to make Session out of it.
September 9, 2014
A trip to San Antonio isn’t complete without a visit to Freetail Brewing Company. I was able to pick up a bottle of their Velocihoptor on my last visit which is a single hop IPA that features Falconer’s Flight which is a proprietary blend of the Pacific Northwest’s best hops. According to the label, each hop in the blend was hand selected for its superior aromatic qualities, imparting distinct tropical, citrus, floral, lemon & grapefruit tones. The beer poured a golden amber with a huge fluffy white head. I detected tropical fruit with citrus notes in the aroma with some slight floral hops as well. The taste starts with a huge juicy tropical citrus hop bitterness that take over your palate then transforms into a fruity floral bitterness that coats your tongue. The Velocihoptor is a very well balance IPA that takes you on a perfect hop journey and ends with a nice dry finish. I know Freetail is currently expanding and will be start putting their beers in stores. I can’t wait for more Freetail and hopefully it means some available in Austin too.
September 2, 2014
August’s Greenhouse IPA is about balance. According to the Greenhouse IPA site, there are definitive notes of lemon up front, an earthy middle and juicy finish. Hops & Grain used a blend of 33% Centennial, 15% Mosaic, 15% Meridian, 15% Crystal, 15% Perle, 3% Bravo, 3% Falconer’s Flight to achieve their balance. As usual the beer pours and looks almost identical each month with a deep golden amber and fluffy white head. The aroma was an initial lemon rind hop with some earthy tones underneath. The taste followed with a definite lemon rind bitterness at the start that faded to a juicy dank finish. It left a lingering bitter coating on my palate that had me anticipating the next sip. As with every Greenhouse IPA this was easy to drink and this version was definitely the most balanced. On those terms H&G definitely hit their mark and made another amazing iteration of the Greenhouse IPA and achieved balance… ohmmmm