Friday, August 24, 2012

Summer Craft Beer Roundup, Part 1

So, it's been a long, hot, dry, and record-breaking summer around the American Midwest. Luckily, there is plenty of craft beer to take the edge off the uncomfortable conditions. Remember to drink locally (when possible), drink independently (always), and prost!

Ratings are, as ever, from 1 being utter shite to 5 being nectar of the gods. Consider a 3 a fine beer, a 4 worth hunting down. 

Goose Island rarely disappoints, and this light golden kolsch-style beer is no exception. It pours with a massive head and with attractive lace, and summons an aroma of  slight citrus hops alongside the lagery grains. Taste is a bright melding of almost sweet malts with some citrus tones. Enjoyable.

A new brewery here, and even semi-local! Really pleased by this one, being an attractive amber, despite having limited carbonation and lace on the glass. The flavor, though, is nicely rich -- definitely more flavorful than most amber ales. I get more brown ale notes -- a little roasty on the malts, a bit nutty, and a hint of hop sharpness at the finish, too. Well-done!

Schlafly's Summer seasonal is a clean golden lager with a thick foamy head and average lace. The taste is a sturdy malt base, with a slight hint of citrus. Finishes kinda sweet, but also quite pleasant and easy. Solid and session-worthy.


Anheuser-Busch's entry into the "shandy wars" may be opportunistic, but it is tastier than their chief competitor's. This golden ale pours with an average head and no lace. The nose is subtle and lager-like, with only a tinge of lemon. The flavor is light and rather bland, but only teasing with the honey-lemon sweetness, rather than slapping it up front. Definitely lacking, but I've had worse.

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