Posted: April 16th, 2009 | Author: Stacy | Filed under: Beer Reviews, Craft Brew, Pale Ale, Specialty, What's that in your fridge? | Tags: coriander, ginger, Pale Ale | 1 Comment »
Since I’m still on the lookout for good ales brewed with ginger, I had to grab a bottle of Laughing Buddha’s Ginger Pale Ale. It’s brewed with ginger and coriander, so be ready for it to taste a little like a grand cru. The aroma is strongly of savory ginger, some spice, and a hint of malt. It pours clear and the color of copper-tinted honey. It’s not over-carbonated, and has a medium bubbly mouthfeel much like you’d expect from a pale ale. The ginger flavor is definitely present, both up front and in the finish, but isn’t astringent.
This is actually an ideal beer for a warm spring day – full enough to take the chill off you when the wind blows, but light and crisp to compliment the warmth of the sun on your face. I could see it pairing nicely with sushi, or even udon. Something that doesn’t have strong spices that would overwhelm the ginger notes.
It reminds me a lot of the experimental ginger hefeweizen I brewed a couple of months ago, only more carbonated. I hope that my brew gets a bit more bubbly!
Also, it turns out that Laughing Buddha had to change its name to Trade Route Brewing due to a legal dispute. Since the brewery is in Seattle, I’ll have to check it out the next time I go north.
Posted: February 15th, 2009 | Author: Stacy | Filed under: Beer Reviews, What's that in your fridge? | 2 Comments »
You may have noticed that I’ve been on a ginger beer kick lately, so when I saw Hitachino Nest’s Real Ginger Brew I had to try it. I’ve had their white, red rice, and sweet stout before and thought they were pretty decent if a bit pricey.
On pouring, the Real Ginger Brew is not as light as I’d expected, having a more copper color that was a bit hazy. The haze didn’t reflect a wheaty taste. On pouring there’s a bit of head, much like a soda, but no head retention.
It has a surprisingly tart aroma followed by coriander and citrus. The initial taste also has a tang like a Flanders Brown, slightly fruity and tart. The ginger flavor is present, but more savory than spicy, and there’s no real ginger hotness. I noted a definite metallic taste that all the Hitachino Nest beers have. The carbonation is a little rough, like a soda, though it calms as the beer warms.
On warming there’s a noticeable alcohol aroma and flavor, and the taste of the beer becomes more savory than tart. It’s an interesting beer, but I’m not sure I’d pay over $4.50 for it again.
Posted: July 8th, 2008 | Author: Stacy | Filed under: Beer Reviews, Pale Ale, What's that in your fridge? | No Comments »
Finally, a pigskin I can enjoy!
I can’t imagine that anything from “Beer Valley” would be bad, so I bought a bottle of Beer Valley Brewing’s Pigskin Pale Ale
since it’s 90 degrees out and a refreshing beer sounded pretty good and I’d never seen this beer before. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical, since “pigskin” = football, and football = crappy beer in my experience. Maybe just I’m scarred from childhood Seahawks games full of adults spilling Budweiser on me.
Still, I like to support and Oregon brewery, and the price was right. I couldn’t help but notice that, in the bottle, the beer seemed a little uncharacteristically cloudy for a pale ale. On pouring, it looks more like a hazy amber or a kolsch – pale coppery and hazy. Funny, since the brewer’s site claims it’s a pale yellow beer. The head is minimal, but it does retain a little foam over time.
Fresh from the fridge, I notice the floral hops aroma first, but there’s little bitter hops aftertaste. As the beer warms, the floral character mellows and allows the malty flavor to come out. It has a nice velvety bubble to it that makes it rather easy to drink. We had spicy burritos for dinner and the Pigskin pale held up perfectly against the spice and the heat of the day.
I have to say that, surprisingly, this beer was exactly what I wanted today. It’s refreshing, malty but not sweet, hoppy but not bitter or overly floral, substantial without being heavy, and all-around a perfect fit for a summer day. I’ll definitely buy this again and look for it on tap.
Posted: June 9th, 2008 | Author: Stacy | Filed under: Beer Reviews, What's that in your fridge?, Wheat | No Comments »
Oh, it's a little trouble!
I hadn’t seen Troublette
at New Seasons before, so when I spotted it this evening I had to give it a try. After a fairly heavy, sweet beer at the Lucky Lab, a lighter wheat beer sounded pretty good. At only 5.5 % alcohol, Troublette fit the bill!
This is a nice golden-colored beer of medium clarity. Decent head retention, fine but substantial carbonation, and a tart wheaty aroma present themselves on first pour. I let it warm up a bit before drinking, since it was too tart when fresh from the fridge. As it warms, the wheat flavors start to come out on top of the tartness. But the bright flavor is refreshing, complex, and a welcome change from sweet, malty beers.
I appreciate that it’s delicately hopped, just enough to keep it from being sweet but not so much that there’s any bitterness. This is one well-balanced beer! I wish it came in larger bottles. It’s more like a wit beer than a wheat ale, so if you’re looking for a hefeweizen you can find cheaper, local beers. But for an alternative to Celis White, this is good! Not full of orange and coriander, but still tasty and more complex than your basic hefeweizen.
Still, $3.11 for 11.2oz is a little steep. This will be a specialty beer in my house!
Posted: May 11th, 2008 | Author: Stacy | Filed under: Beer Reviews, Craft Brew, Golden ale, Specialty, What's that in your fridge? | No Comments »
Such cute little bottles!
We were shopping at a local wine store that happened to have an interesting beer selection, and I was drawn to the cute little three-pack of Belzebuth
bottles. The label claims this is “the most unique beer in the world” so I had to get it. Them’s drinkin’ words!
Belzebuth is a gorgeous golden color in the glass, much like a mead or even a cider. There’s little head on pouring, though a little foam remains around the edges of the glass. The bubbles are fine like a quality champagne — which I’d expect from a fancy French beer! Of course, Brasserie Grain D’Orge is located just south of the Belgian border in the Flanders region of France, so this is barely a French beer in my mind.
Of particular note is that this beer is 13% alcohol, a fact prominently stated on the neck label. This had me prepared for it to be quite sweet, which it is. Lots of candy sugar flavor in this one, almost sticky and sickly sweet at times. The sweetness is a little better as the beer warms and the malt flavors become apparent.
If you don’t let this beer warm up before drinking it, all you taste is sweet up front with a metallic finish. Kathy said, “The aftertaste tastes like fish. Ew. You can drink this one.” To me it didn’t taste like fish (and I hate fish flavor), it just had a strong metallic finish. Once it’s warmer, the finish is more fruity and spicy.
Because of the sweetness, this is not a fast drinking beer. I’ve been sipping mine for at least an hour now and still have a bit more to drink. On account of the alcohol level and the sweetness, this wouldn’t be a beer I’d put in regular drinking rotation. But it makes a good dessert beer, that’s for sure!