Ah, the time is at last here again for the month's beer tastings. Findings below. Be sure to support your local craft brewers (local is always fresher), and give a small brewer a try...relying solely on corporate beer is only allowing yourself to be boxed in and marketed to. Be individual, stand out, and drink indie beer!
BLUE DAWG BREWING - WILD BLUE BLUEBERRY LAGER (Baldwinsville, NY) - 1.0
To start with, I adore blueberries. Fresh, ripe, and real blueberries, that is. Nonetheless, this Nehi grape-colored debacle may say it contains "natural flavors and colors", but beer it is not. And I question the "blueberry" content as well. Maybe the 8% ABV is meant to obscure the fact that this one commits abominable and atrocious acts on the tastebuds? It tastes like an alcoholic grape soda, with no discernable hint of hops, just a weird, artificial fruity flavor that lingers like a Wild Irish Rose version of beer. Ugh. Avoid.
SCHLAFLY No.15 ALE (St. Louis, MO) - 4.5
This nice amber wheat ale brings a frothy appearance and a fragrant spice aroma - delectable! The first impression is a well-balanced maltiness, with a hint of citrusy spice. Compares (very) favorably to it's mainstream counterpart, Blue Moon, and in fact, a source close to me (who happens to enjoy Blue Moon) rated this one better. I do, too. A wonderful beer -- not flashy or showy, just eminently enjoyable and steady. Pick of the month.
TWO BROTHERS BREWING - THE BITTER END PALE ALE (Warrenville, IL) - 4.0
A nice, sweet, and floral aroma immediately permeates the air around this one. Certainly a promising opening! Tastewise, it's a smooth and hoppy character with a well-balanced malty presence that counteracts the more acidic and bitter elements that other pale ales exhibit. A standout, and a fine example of the style. Highly enjoyable.
MICHELOB - HOP HOUND AMBER WHEAT (St. Louis, MO) - 3.0
A nicely clouded golden ale, this seasonal macro features a balanced blend of Northwest hops and sweet malts. It's an appealing combination with hints of citrus and caramel notes, and not as bitter or biting as the name suggests. Hop Hound is easygoing, and not too complex, but more than drinkable. A nice starting point for the inexperienced beer drinker.