Monday, June 1, 2009

Beer Roundup

A few beers, since it’s been a while:

Reverend Quadrupel (Avery): If you like this style (and I really do), you’ll enjoy this beer. It pours a beautiful reddish-orange that starts sweet and finishes spicy with nice alcohol warmth. That last part tends to happen when a beer comes in at 10% ABV. Definitely a sipper, not a gulper.

Black Hook Porter (Red Hook): This is a straight-forward porter with the usual hints of chocolate and coffee. Lightly hopped; the aftertaste is a little metallic. In my opinion, it’s an okay beer but a below-average porter. There are just too many other good choices in this style to justify me buying this one again.

Fifteen (Avery): This one’s crazy. It’s a muddy-looking pale farmhouse ale (a dirty blonde?) with more flavors than I know what to do with. The gimmick is, Avery’s 15th anniversary, brewed with 15 spices, 15.0% ABV, fermented with unpredictable brettanomyces yeast. After the first couple sips I thought, “This is interesting”, but after that I just got annoyed. Too much going on, like someone took every herb, spice, and flower in a garden and ground them into my bottle. Some people dig this sort of thing, but I don’t. The brett yeast just added to the barnyard vibe, which again isn’t my bag.

Pranqster (North Coast): A golden Belgian-style ale. I’ve yet to taste a North Coast beer I don’t like. This one is big and flavorful, with the bright fruity and caramelly finish I love about this type of brew. However, it’s still light and refreshing enough to drink as the weather gets warm. It looks like your average lager in a glass, but it beats the crap out of that lager in flavor (and alcohol – 7.6%).

Small Beer (Anchor): This is produced from a second fermentation of the mash used to brew Old Foghorn, which is Anchor’s barleywine. Question: Have you ever tried to reuse coffee grounds? Even if you used the Roasterie’s Full Vengance, the second pot you tried to squeeze out of those grounds is weak as hell. I think you see what I’m getting at.

Red Ale (O’Dell): This is a pleasant red, medium-hopped and flavorful. This would be a nice beer to bring to a cookout: it’s satisfying to those who actually like to taste their beer, yet crowd-pleasing enough that most people would dig it. I can’t give it my full endorsement because it’s only my second-favorite red produced in Ft. Collins, CO (see: Retro Red from Fort Collins Brewery).

Single-Wide IPA (Boulevard): Yeah, this has been out for months, but I just got around to drinking one. Why? Because I’m not really into IPAs. To paraphrase The Killers: I like hops, but I’m not a hophead. Overall, I just find IPAs kinda boring. There’s always something else on the menu I’d rather have. Boulevard’s version hit me the same way as most other IPAs: sip one, this isn’t bad; sip three, still not too shabby; sip six, *yawn*.

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