Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Craft Beer is Falling!

It's offically Fall, and the beers of the season are starting to arrive, like leaves falling from the trees. For beer snobs like me, Fall means a new batch of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. But, alas, craft brew fans, there are others out there, vying for your attention, dollars, and taste buds. Here are a few recent tastings. Ratings are on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being horse piss, 3 being decent, and 5 being life-sustaining nectar of ye godz! As you can see, not a great month!

BUD LIGHT - Golden Wheat (St. Louis, MO) - 1.0
A certain pizza company is wise to proclaim the benefits of "better ingredients", and I believe that applies to beer, as well. This one has a decent cloudy wheat appearance, but first taste reveals a soft, fuzzy, fizzy mix of coriander, citrus, and...something artificial? Maybe metallic. I dunno. I do know that this one tastes one-dimensional and cheap. Absolutely horrid.

GOOSE ISLAND - Harvest Ale (Chicago, IL) - 3.0
Mmm. Yummy hints of rich, fruitiness on the nose -- almost pumpkinlike, definitely a Fall-like scent. Nice deep amber in color, and quite attractive. But the taste? Shows some hoppy character, but the maltiness complements it well. A hearty brew, and more than drinkable, but somehow not one I'd keep on-hand.

SHIPYARD BREWING CO. - Pumpkinhead Ale (Portland, ME) - 3.0
This clean, golden ale shows a nice froth and has a deliciously spicy scent up front. Tastes hearty, with plenty of sweetness, and the pumpkin flavor is integrated well with the spice elements. Balanced and rich, this one is enjoyable, though there are better pumpkin ales out there (Dogfish Head).

LEINENKUGEL'S - Oktoberfest (Chippewa Falls, WI) - 2.0
Pours a crystal-clear amber, with a very sweet aroma. Tastes pretty sweet, too. In fact, the overly malty presence is overbearing, completely obscuring the flavor profile or the supposed "4 specialty hops". I hate to slander a "German-style Marzen", but this one blows.

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