The Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier was a pleasant surprise. Even though the label says this is a Kristall Weissbier, I wasn't expecting it to be literally crystal clear... and still taste like a Weiss. But sure enough, this beer has all the banana and coriander flavor of a regular Weiss but without the cloudy body. So what's the point? Why bother with finding a Kristall Weiss? Well, when it's nearing a hundred degrees outside you might not want to drink a thick wheaty Weiss... The filtered version of the Weiss is much crisper and more bubbly, it feels almost like a light Weiss. Sort of like how Bud Light is light, but with flavor. This beer is well worth seeking out, if you're able to find a couple of them. If you can, pick up a few of these and save them for a warm summer evening. You can thank me later.
I've always had nice things to say about Avery. Though admittedly, I haven't had too many of Avery's more "extreme" beers. I visited their brewery in Boulder last year and was about to try a couple of their bigger golden Belgian series beers and I was hooked. This is the first of the darker big beers I've gotten around to reviewing. The Beast is a bit intimidating, it's 15.07% after all... That's twice the alcohol content of Avery's anniversary Saison beers! I've had stronger beers, but there was always something about the Beast... Maybe it was the name, the menacing label or just the price tag. At $8 for 12 oz it isn't cheap, but it's worth every penny.
I've been to Berlin. Yes, they make a big deal about the Berliner Weiss style. It's been four years since I've had one so my recollection of what today's modern Berliner Weissbiers taste like might be a little hazy. I bring that up because this beer, brewed by Dr. Fritz Briem at Brauerei Weihenstephan, is specifically labeled a "1809 Berliner Weisse" ...so I'm going to assume my 2006 Berliner Weisse tasted a bit different. What I do remember of the Berliner Weiss is a sweeter than sour fruit character in a light bodied wheat beer. That vague memory set my expectations pretty well, because that's what this 1809 Berliner Weisse is like, but there is a whole lot more to it...
The story behind my bottle of Mélange à Trois is a rather torrid and disturbingly lengthy tale that spans four state lines and three calendar months. What started with a simple text message culminated in my 250th review on this website. I first learned of Nebraska Brewing Company's Mélange à Trois probably about a 9 months ago. I'd heard a lot of good things about the brewery in Papillion, Nebraska and eagerly wanted to drive up there and check it out for myself. They were making some pretty interesting beers and I wanted to try all of them, there was just that small matter of driving three and a half hours... This summer a friend of mine made the trek up to Omaha and stopped by Papillion on my suggestion. He asked if I'd ever tried the Mélange à Trois, saying he was bringing me one back because he found it to be amazing. I was elated.
I just got back from a birthday road trip to Denver with a pretty decent haul of beers that I can't get back home. It's been less than 18 hours, I'm good and rested so I figured I'd open up one of my new beers and take it for a spin. I settled on this bottle of Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron because I had a little taste of it on tap while in Denver and wanted to make sure it was really as good as I remembered. Hopefully, it is... because I brought three 4 packs back last night. Anyways, I sampled the Palo Santo at Falling Rock between other, lighter beers and really enjoyed its complexity and smoothness. There was a smooth je ne sais quoi to this beer that I chocked up to the Palo Santo wood. Now that I've got the Palo Santo all to myself, I'm eager to give it a formal review.
Firestone Walker is one brewery I haven't been able to review before because their beers aren't available in Kansas City. That's all changing in the very near future as Firestone Walker starts shipping its beer to Missouri. 22oz bombers of Walker’s Reserve, Abacus, Parabola, 14th Anniversary and Double Jack should start showing up on shelves around Kansas City within just a few weeks. More beers from Firestone Walker will arrive a little later in the form of six packs, those beers belong to the Nectar Ale brand Firestone Walker produces. All of their beers are held in high regard and I'm excited to welcome them to our neck of the woods.
I've heard of Tröegs in passing a few times before moving to the East Coast, but I was never able to get my hands on any of their beers. The beer I heard the most about was their Nugget Nectar, an IPA that I wasn't really going to go out of my way to try. I just assumed Tröegs was more of an IPA brewery for some reason. After moving to Delaware I started seeing a lot of Troegenator six packs and bombers at the local liquor stores. I tend to get along really well with Doppelbocks so I figured I'd give it a shot. The art on these bottles nearly turned me off though, it's a little too Ed Hardy and tribal tattoo for me... but the guy has a killer beard and demon horns so I'll let it slide.
I really enjoy going to a new liquor store and finding bottles of beer I'd never heard of before. This bottle of The Bruery Mischief came from a liquor store in Maryland I visited over the weekend. I've had a couple beers from The Bruery before but I've never seen this one on a menu or at a liquor store. The label says the Mischief is a Belgian-style Ale, golden & hoppy. Sounds good to me. I haven't had a bad beer from The Bruery yet, but they have all been, more-or-less, Saison style ales. I'm hoping this Mischief will be something a little different.
Ah, the noble Doppelbock. Such a great style of beer, only rivaled in delicious maltiness by the Scotch Ale. I recently had a couple lighter style Smuttynose beers and found them lacking in a number of areas so I decided to try and find a heftier Smuttynose beer and ended up bringing this bottle of S'muttonator home a couple weeks ago. The label of this beer is great, it's a painting of a majestic big horned ram rather than a goat like most Doppelbocks would put on the label. Given the S'muttonator name, it's fitting... and kinda funny.
Trader Joe's recently opened up in Kansas City. There was much fanfare and at least a week's worth of massive lines as people clamored for cheap wine and slightly-better-than-Aldi-quality food. I patiently waited a couple weeks until stopping by and picking up a sixer of Mission St. Pale Ale. I'd heard a lot of good things about this beer but was always reluctant to bring any home from out of town because it's essentially just another relabeled product and I figured a beer that's contract brewed for a discount grocery couldn't be all that great, right? Well, it did kinda win a gold medal at GABF...