Tuesday, September 09, 2008

TWO FROM BELL’S HOUSE TO OUR HOUSE

This is the last post about the beers that were stowed away in my suitcase on my trip back from Washington, DC a month or so ago. We packed light on that trip because we knew we were gonna need some breathing room for beer, so hey, one pair of underwear for 3 days in the sweltering heat? Why not? Shaving, showering, toiletries bag? Who needs it, right? It was pretty exciting to find that the ales of Michigan-based BELL’S BREWERY distributed in DC. I tried their super-hopped HOPSLAM back in early 2007 and thought it was excellent, so this time around I grabbed a twofer of twelve-ounce bottles and went to town. First one I tried was called OBERON. I had seen other blogs give this the big thumbs-up and I wanted in on the action. OBERON is a hoppy summer ale, much like a slightly more aggressive pale ale than the standard English variety – American all the friggin’ way. Refreshing and clean, sure, but really souped-up and medium bodied with a slight citrus bite. Very good beer. 7.5/10.

The other one I grabbed off the shelf is called BELL’S TWO-HEARTED ALE. This is also a pale ale, but this time it’s the malts that are given major play. Very malty and caramel like, but still IPA-like as well despite a distinct lack of hops. Thick-tasting, and also quite good. What is this beer they call Two-Hearted Ale? I don’t really know, but I know that this brewery is 3 for 3 in my book. 7/10 on this one. Hopefully this appearance in DC is a sign of greater national distribution down the line sometime.

4 comments:

Matt Walker (mwsf) said...

I never thought I'd hear Two-Hearted Ale described as having "a distinct lack of hops"! That's okay though, it's easy to have your hoppiness scale shifted when Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig IPA, and Hopsickle are so readily available! I just visited Michigan a couple weeks ago and brought back a case of assorted Bell's beers. Great stuff...

Steve said...

I've had Two Hearted a few times and the very first time I had it I was totally underwhelmed. Old bottle it turned out to be. I wonder if you got one somewhat past it's prime? I got fresh ones and WOW, it reminded me almost exactly like Stone IPA, since they use all Centennial hops in it (like Stone, except Stone uses Magnum for bittering). Fresh, it's rock solid hop-centric. The cool thing is, on Bell's website you can type in the code on the back of the bottle and see what it was bottled. Keep drinkin the good brew :)

Dale said...

Both are standards and both are great. Seems a lot of non-Michiganders think Two Hearted is one of the most amazing beers ever. I think they're overreacting a bit.

greg said...

we got the Two Hearted here in NC.

it's better on tap but i still think it quite tasty.