Showing posts with label Michigan Beer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michigan Beer. Show all posts

Jan 23, 2019

Kuhnhenn DRIPA Double Rice IPA

How many times in the place now have I declared that I've grown completely done with IPA's only to go ahead and then say "Well, ok, maybe I am but this one is pretty unique/amazing/etc and after it, I am done with the style?"

Probably about a billion, right? Spoiler alert here is gonna be that this will make that a billion and one.

After observing that it pours a rich and hazy golden color with a firm head that leaves a good amount of lacing in its tracks of each sip, the first thing noticed are the aromas this brew gives off. Bright floral notes, a lot of citrus zing and, when given a deeper whiff, is that stewed apples I am thinking.

The hop profile comes on strong at first on the sipping side. It is one of a slightly different character though, bold but not as blustery. Mellow orange and lime nuances rather than sticky pine oil or grapefruit stings. A slight dent of dankness hangs so lightly as it is kept calm by slight touches of caramel, honey and cheesecake. There also seems to be some sake flirting going on here, which is probably the rice coming into play. The finish of this medium bodied brew is peppery and bright.

The 9.5% abv is quite mighty though it is highly disguised underneath all the interesting balancing of flavors going on. I can attest that these sneak up on ya.
Marvel the monocot at Kuhnhenn Brewing Co

Mar 8, 2018

Ellison Brewery's Dawn Street Pale Ale

With IPA's being the big dog in the beer world, it's sibling, the standard pale ale, has been neglected and, in some circles, even shunned these days (for example, it was a sad day for us here at Smashin' Transistors when we heard that Founders was going to be no longer be making their dry hopped pale ale as it was one of our favorites and always paired finely with whatever was for dinner.)

Now, I'm not talking smack about IPA's or anything. I dig plenty myself but still, there's nothing like a solid and tasty pale ale. They're flavorful with citrus, pine and maybe even bread and honey nuances but not an overtly sticky hop bomb. They're crisp and refreshing but not some lightweight old guy beer either. And, as I already mentioned, a finely made will compliment but never overshadow any food it is served with.

It seems the grain and yeast thaumaturges at Lansing, Michigan's Ellison Brewery were thinking the same thing when they envisioned Dawn Street Pale Ale. Colored beaming tangerine in color and a sporting a dense and rocky head, we're already off to a great start when this brew is poured into a glass. Eyes closed and giving it a sniff, one may think they have a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in their hand. Aroma of mango, peach, honey and toast made from homemade bread are noticeable on the nose too.

On first sip, there's a bit of caramel and sweetness. Then a variety of the aforementioned citrus comes into play. The other fruits follow that. The complexities of it all intermingle, giving each one a distinction but being subtle about it. Towards the end, it brings the toast and honey thing out that was noticed in the scent before closing with a slight bitter that then fades into a clean and dry flavor.

That beer booms with all kinds of character and is very memorable. It's not obtrusive about though s whether it's steak, chicken, fish or whatever you may choose for a main course at suppertime or just simply hanging out and knocking back a few brews, this one will not disappoint.
Taste a brighter shade of pale at Ellison Brewing and Spirits.

Jan 15, 2018

Arcadia Ales Cereal Killer Barleywine


Damn! This winter has been a brutal one so far. Sure, I say that most winters but after two weeks of well below zero Fahrenheit temperatures and living in a drafty old house with a boiler that seems it can only handle keeping rooms comfortable if it is above 20°F (and that's being generous), the shiver aspect has been high and heavy both inside and out this season so far. I imagine the shock level is going to be a huge zap too when the home heating bills start to roll in over the next couple of months.

Warmth is key. Along with an electric blanket things, a bit bigger on the boozy end have helped in such pursuits. No, the booze part doesn't actually help keep a person warmer but helps in not caring that it is practically like Siberia outside in these parts right now.

I don't recall if Arcadia Ales Cereal Killer was the first "traditional" barleywine I ever had but my first taste of one of these was over a decade ago. I've never gotten around to writing about it though. Picking up a 4 pack of them a couple of weeks ago though, I've decided it was time to get around to doing just that.

Mahogany in color and a two finger head that holds on for a moderate amount of time, Cereal Killers looks the way an English barleywine does. Scents of dark fruits such as plum and cherry along with sweet malts, toffee and brown sugar are quickly noted. Hops not swatting the nose around here show this Battle Creek, MI brewery didn't set out to Americanize their take on the style and are paying tribute to the way they've been doing it in the UK for centuries too.

Dates, grapes, caramel and spices come right out on the initial sips. There's a bit of sweetness there too but nothing overly or aggressively candied or sugary. The 10% ABV brings some heat right behind that but that takes a step to the side too as a bit of cherry and vanilla bean arrives towards the finish. Medium bodied and smooth all the way through, it ends with a semi-tart and somewhat dry. Almost like Sauvignon but not as jammy and a bit boozier.

I don't know if this brew would actually lead me to commit homicide to a bowl of Malt-O-Meal, but it is the kind of thing that would be proper to drink before going out and rasslin' a giant. I feel warmer already.
Get your sips at Arcadia Ales dot com

May 10, 2017

OLD NATION M43 N.E. IPA

Y'know, every time I've declared that I will not drink any IPA for a particular set period of time, it always gets cut short because something will come along the pique my interest and I think "Awww, man. I gotta taste some of that."

The latest thing in the beer geek world is the "haaaaze, man." I haven't done much research where this latest unfiltered IPA trend started (apparently the Northeast as all of them carry an NE identifier on them) and this one from Williamston, Michigan beermaker Old Nation is is the first one that I've had a chance to try.

Having not tried a N.E IPA, the color and aroma of this alone would be enough to understand why some of the brewers that are making them have been taking a juice angle in their description and naming of them. This one looks like orange juice and even after a few sniffs, it still smells just like citrus smoothie. Enough so as where you could tell people it is grapefruit juice and they'd believe you.

Such things really hold over in the flavor too. The combination of hops here bring a clementine sweetness right out in the front. That's followed by a tangy juicy orange and mango tang then a grapefruit bite toward the end. The oats and the wheat in the malting process give it an earthy grain sweet pillow for the usually brazen mix of Amarillo, Citra and Simcoe hops to kick back on, making every sip of this interesting and complex without anything becoming overbearing. It's a hop bomb for sure (and at 6.8% not shabby in the ABV department either) but as where most just simply explode everywhere and wreck palates simply because they can, this is one is quite stealth in its target.

I've had plenty a beer with tropical notes or fruit infused but none of them have been as lush in flavor or a fluffy in mouthfeel as this one has. I asked myself several times if I was really even really drinking a beer. I then decided this is maybe the kind of tasty brew they not only do up in the Northeast but maybe also on fun beer planets galaxies away.
oldnationbrewing.com