Fossil Brewing Company Knochenweizen Hefeweizen

IMG_0136.JPGFossil Brewing Company’s Knochenweizen Hefeweizen is a true Hefeweizen. It has been a long while since I have had a true to form Hefeweizen. Talking with Josh Bye, the brewmaster, he indicated he also wanted the true characteristics of a Hefeweizen.

Knochenweizen’s aroma is full of the esters from the yeast and sweetness.

The taste has wonderful banana flavors with a mild sweet finish. The carbonation is helping create a nice full mouth feel, which is perfect for a Hefeweizen.

Fossil Brewing Company is creating some very tasty brews and the Hefeweizen is a great example of what they can do in their brew house.

Huntsville Beer Week, 4th Annual

Huntsville Beer WeekWell, it is that time again for Huntsville Beer Week. It runs September 19th through September 27th. With the Huntsville Area’s growing beer community, this year’s week is celebrating 8 breweries and many beer centric venues.

There will be events throughout the whole week at breweries, restaurants, and bars all over town.  Many types of events will be available included tastings, educational, give-aways, and many other kinds of events.  Be sure, you check with your favorite brewery, bar, or restaurant.

 

bdg_huntsville2014_lgThe local Free the Hops chapter has reached out to Untappd to actually get a badge that can be earned by checking in beers at local venues.

Events are still being updated on the Huntsville Beer Week site.

Manitou Brewing Company

Manitou Brewing CompanyManitou Brewing Company opened up March 1st. They are located at 725 Manitou Ave in Manitou Springs, Colorado. They are operating more as a brewpub featuring five beers of their own creation, guest beers, and food.

Presently, they are serving up their Belgian Blonde Ale (4.7% ABV, 27 IBU), Session Red (4.7% ABV, 12 IBU), Smoked Nut Brown Ale (6.5% ABV, 45 IBU), Manitou Common (5.2% ABV, 25 IBU), and IPA (6.7% ABV, 65 IBU).

I started with the Session Red and a House Salad. The Session Red had a very good malt flavor with a surprisingly good body when many reds have minimal body. It would be a great session beer as the name indicates. The House Salad was very enjoyable and above the bar you would ever expect at a brewpub.

The Belgian Blonde Ale has a nice aroma with mild Belgian blonde characteristics and a note tart with a dry finish. The finish is a bit too dry.

Smoked Nut Brown Ale
Smoked Nut Brown Ale

The Smoked Nut Brown Ale is a light bodied beer with a enjoyable nuttiness. The finish leaves the mouth filled with the beer’s flavors long after the initial taste. I am fan of this style and this Smoked Nut Brown Ale makes me happy. This beer would go great with a steak or other grilled foods.

The Manitou Common is very un-common. It has an initial hint of fruit. The lacing is very nice for this style. The dryness over powers this beer. It would very sessionable, but the dry finish could hold it back for some.

The IPA start with an enjoyable aroma. I had to take it outside to full take in the aroma. The hops are screaming in this beer. The hops come off a bit harsh, but it gives this beer a character.

Overall, I can see great things in the future for Manitou Brewing Company. The staff is very friendly. The food service is beyond what is expected for a brewpub. The establishment is family, which is very nice for all those young pink boots out there. The beer is very enjoyable. I looked forward to trying more offerings from Manitou Brewing Company.

Bristol Brewing Company’s Imperial IPA

Bristol Brewing Company Imperial IPABristol Brewing Company’s Imperial IPA pours up a copper to deep golden color showing hints copper in the head. The head is rich and very lacy for an Imperial IPA.

The aroma has hints of citrus with bit of maltiness finding it’s way into the background. The Centennial, Simcoe, and Amarillo aromas are very nice against the background of this beer. There was an expectation for a bigger nose. The first glass on release day had a huge nose. This glass lost a bit of the initial aroma from last week.

The initial taste is of a deep hop flavor on the tip of the tongue and only increases as it fills the pallet. The Columbus hops hold up well in this big beer. The malt and hop flavor present in a way that would go well with a meal like a sheared steak or smoked items such root vegetables or chicken. The finish leaves the mouth with a rich blend of hop characteristics pouring over the mouth and fades to make way for the next taste.

Bristol Brewing Company indicates they use 2-row, Caramel and Munich malts. The hops are Columbus, Centennial, Simcoe, and Amarillo.

Overall, I really enjoyed this Imperial IPA. The 8.1% ABV keeps this beer from taking you off the chart too much. It would be great if this was a year round brew for Bristol Brewing Company. It is available in draft for a limited time and while the bombers last. The 4 mile walking round trip, from The Antlers, makes this beer even better.

Back Forty Beer Company’s Naked Pig Pale Ale

Naked Pig Pale AleBack Forty Beer Company’s Naked Pig Pale Ale has come out in cans. It pours up nicely with a nice clear pale copper color.

The aroma is nice and mellow with a hint of maltiness, grains, and a light hoppiness in the background.

The flavor has a bit of nuttiness complemented by mild hop finish.

I know many people are bottle loyalist, but I can see this beer having a good future at the ballparks, the poolside, and at the beach.

Good People Hitchhiker

Good People HitchhikerGood People Hitchhiker is an American IPA that pours up nicely with a rich head that leave lots of lacing. The color is a light copper and very clear.

The aroma is very mild, but the humidity is very high and that could be affecting the aroma.

The taste starts with a malty hop flavor that turns toward the hoppy side in the finish.

Overall, this is very enjoyable addition to the Good People IPA lineup. The ABV of 7.4% is sitting right between their IPA and Snake Handler (Double IPA).

Zythos Bier Festival in Leuven, Belgium

031The 10th annual Zythos Bier Festival was held in Leuven, Belgium on Saturday and Sunday April 27/ 28, 2013. Over 500 different Belgian beers were available to sample. Admission to the festival is free; each 150 ml sample costs one token (€1.40). Attendees seemed to be mostly Belgian, though we also met other visitors from the United States, UK, and the Netherlands. Getting to Leuven was easy – trains from Brussels run every 30 minutes. There was a free shuttle bus from the Leuven train station to Brabanthal hall. The wide variety of Belgian beers was fantastic. Old classics from Dupont, St. Bernardus, and many others (including all of the Trappists, except Westvleteren) were available, as well as innovative new Belgian brewers like de Struisse, The Musketeers, and Verzet.

In addition to buying tokens, you need to put down a refundable deposit (€3) for a souvenir tasting glass, and likely purchase a thorough program listing all of the beers (€0.50). With glasses in hand, we then started visiting the 100+ tasting booths. One of the more popular stands was the double-sized booth shared by De Struisse and Alvinne. My favorite here was the Rio Reserva. Also available were Cuvee Delphine, Pannepot, Shark Pants (a hoppy collaboration with Three Floyds), two barrel-aged variants of Melchior, and many other beers. Other standout offerings were La Vermontoise (Blaugies/Hill Farmstead collaboration), Duvel Tripel Hop (Sorachi Ace this year), Prearis Quadrupel (coffee infused), St. Bernardus Paasbier. Only a single AB InBev product was available (Leffe Royale, being served via a self-serve tap system that they are marketing for in-home use. (The Diamond Club in the Brussels airport also had the same system serving Leffe beer to their customers.).052

The Sunday session was less crowded overall, so there was more opportunity to talk with the brewers, as well as other attendees. Food was available for purchase – frites, pizza, hamburgers, paninis, pasta, etc. The festival hall is located at the edge of a business park, so the only food options are the ones provided by the festival. A small amount of beer-related merchandise was available for purchase, as well as bottled beer at many of the booths. Very few of the beers ran out before the end of the day’s session (with the exception of de Strusse/Alvinne, where about half the beers were depleted before the end of each day) and there were few lines to wait for beer).

A nice touch that is perhaps common at Belgian festivals, was that the servers at each booth would wash (with soap) and rinse (separately) your glass for each sample. Seating at tables, as well as some free- standing tables was available. All of the tasting booths, as well as the seating was located indoors (non-smoking), with a small outdoor smoking patio, as well as the food trucks which were located outside. Another unusual feature (from my perspective at least) was that while admission to the festival was free, use of the restrooms cost €1.50 (one time fee for the session).

We had a great time at Zythos and I would recommend attending to anyone who loves Belgian beer. The Belgian beer drinkers that we met were very knowledgable of Belgian styles and brewers. Many in attendance were members of clubs (with matching club shirts) that meet to learn about and sample beer – usually under the guidance of a brewer or other experienced taster. And if you make it to Belgium, then you will have the opportunity to visit any number of classic beer destinations.

Funkwerks Solenna (Bastogne)

Funkwerks SolennaFunkwerks Solenna (Bastogne) pours up with a rich head that clings to the glass. It has a clear copper color that hints of golden colors at the edges. The lacing is very nice.

The aroma has fruit overtones with a mix of hops hiding in the background.

The taste starts out with an alkaline aspect that holds on past the finish. But quickly, the flavor shifts to spices and peat flavors. The malty flavor come in during the finish as a nice surprise.

The mouth feel is driven by the clinginess of the flavors. The medium body holds on only for a bit and fades quickly in the finish.

Overall, Funkwerks Solenna is a very enjoyable beer. I could enjoy this beer while sit on my deck and sharing it friends to push their beer boundaries.

Phantom Canyon Brewing’s Zebulon’s Peated Porter (cask style)

Zebulon pours up nicely with a rich head that slowly fades while holding on to the glass all the way to the finish. The color is a deep brown with hints of tan hiding in there. The head shows the tan colors well with it being a dark sandy color.

The aroma is first of a dark chocolate malt and hint of bitterness or peat in the aroma. It makes you expect a drier beer before the taste even arrives.

The taste starts off with a welcome to your pallet due to cellar temperature. Chocolate malt flavors are there right away with the mild bitterness. Chocolate tones turn to bitter cocoa in the finish. While, the warming of the beer brings out the bitterness. The flavor doesn’t want to leave the mouth long after the sip.

The mouthfeel of Zebulon is heavy on pallet with a take over the taste buds kind of attitude.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer. The full body and the rich flavors make this a great beer for enjoying in Colorado Springs’ typical winter weather. The 6.1% ABV won’t slow you down, but a session beer this is not due to the other characteristics. If Phantom Canyon had a fireplace, Zebulon’s Peated Porter would be the beer of choice to drink while setting in front of it. I would suggest the Colorado Lamb Sirloin or the Center Cut Ribeye to complement its flavor.

Founders Devil Dancer

Founders Devil Dancer is a triple IPA. It poured up nicely with a rich copper color and minimal head.

The aroma shows the presence of the high alcohol right away. The hops bouquet is nice but not too floral as was expected.

The taste of this beer is driven by the big characteristics of it with a high alcohol, big hop profile, the bold malt flavor, and heavier body. Finish presents with the heat of the alcohol. There’s a nice sweetness throughout the whole beer’s flavor. But the hops, they hold on throughout the taste, but they’re not over-the-top.

The mouth feel is driven by the strong malt backbone giving it a deep thick body, that is for I PA. The high ABV creates an interesting character in the mouth feel especially in the finish.

Overall, Devil Dancer is a very impressive beer. The 12% ABV makes this beer something to be enjoyed gradually so that you fully appreciate all the characteristics from the beginning to the end. I appreciate that there’s quite a few more of these waiting in the refrigerator.