Friday, May 16, 2008

CATCHING UP ON A FEW WEST COAST & GERMAN BEERS

If you’ve read this site before, you know how we work, right? Try a new beer, type some notes on that new beer into a cell phone when no one (especially females) is looking, post the results with some pithy commentary and a rating on HBJ, blah blah blah. Since we took a pretty big break from posting said reviews in March & April, there were a few pours that sorta got lost in the shuffle. In case you’re wondering what beers to drink or not drink this weekend, let’s use this occasion to get caught up on a few that we haven’t talked about in this forum yet.

RED HOOK LONGHAMMER IPA – Consumed on tap at the New York Sports Grille, JFK Airport, New York. This IPA, introduced a year or two ago, and rumored to be the same old Red Hook IPA and Ballard Bitter they've been running out there for years, is dry with fairly low/medium hopping. It has some good lingering bitterness with more pine & grapefruits flavors mixed in than you might expect from Red Hook in 2008. That said, it’s kinda boring, if drinkable. 6/10.

BEAR REPUBLIC SCOTTISH HERITAGE ALE – Consumed on tap at Barclay’s, Oakland. Bear Republic have made a Scottish/Scotch ale, and it’s a good one. Caramel taste, some good hopping, but a definite tendency toward the malts. I was told that’s it’s pretty high alcohol in the 7-8% range, and I seem to remember it not tasting that way – so that’s something. Need to try this again if it ever comes around. 7/10.

AYINGER UR-WEISS – Consumed in a 500-ml. bottle at my house. This dunkel weiss (dark wheat) from heavyweight German brewers AYINGER is of course brewed according to the “Reinheitsgebot” purity laws - not that you’d notice, right? I’m surprised to say, I’m not into it at all. Yeasty, somewhat chalky tastes of banana and clove, and very thin-bodied. Entirely uninteresting, and I don’t see any reason to go for it again. 5/10.

DRAKE’S SUMMER BELGIAN BLONDE – Consumed on tap at City Beer Store, San Francisco. 6/10. I’ve pretty much decided that DRAKE’S are masters of the double IPA (HOP SALAD, DENOGGENIZER) and just decent at everything else. I wish I thought otherwise. This light Belgian-style blonde did very little for me other than make me wish I had chosen something else, something that always seems to happen when I choose a non-IPA from Drake’s. 6/10.

MOONLIGHT OLD COMBINE – Consumed on tap at Barclay’s, Oakland. This is a crazy-ass “kitchen sink” lager that tastes like somewhat a pale ale with elements of every other beer thrown in. Like all Moonlight products, it’s smooth, crisp and exceptionally drinkable. Grassy and earthy. It certainly tastes like an experimental beer, yet one that can be consumed “in quantity” as they say. 7.5/10.

1 comment:

Dale said...

You're being nice about that Longhammer by giving it a 6 right? It made my mad how ungood it was when I tried it a couple of months back. Is it just me but has Red Hook really gone down hill since A/B started "distrubuting" them?