Friday, June 15, 2012

Fremont Summer Ale

This is my first beer from Seattle's Fremont Brewing Co. They describe this beer as a "tangerine flower in a glass, endless days distilled into nectar of barley and hops. One grain (2-row), one hop (Amarillo). Simplicity….yet, so much more."

The beer pours a mostly clear peach colour. There is about two fingers' worth of head made up of small microbubbles that leave solid creamy lacing. There is active CO2 action in the glass.

The smell is quite nice. There is something slightly woody about it... almost like an earthy chipotle smokiness, but it's mostly all big fruity hop notes up front - pineapple, pear, some other tropical fruits, but not so much on the citrus side - what there is does lean on orange / tangerine, though.

The flavour is more of the same, and the beer has a super-smooth finish. There's no lingering feel at first, and the malt notes really kick in in the aftertaste. In that aftertaste is some mellow caramel sweetness followed by the faintest zip of fruit... even a little spice? I'm thinking of a hint of some lemon / lemongrass, perhaps, too... almost reminds me of some brews I had last summer with kaffir limes in them.

Overall, a refreshing, nicely bitter, fruity beer with a nice finish. A solid beer all-round. I'd love to try more from this brewery.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Troubadour Blond Ale

On top of this brew is scads of wee-bubbly head, but it lasts forever and is pretty dense... leaving an oval peak of head from the beginning of the drink 'til nearly the end (picture a little sudsy mountain). There is tons of lacing, and the beer is a very clear and pale gold/yellow. There is lots of active carbonation in the glass.

In the aroma is a bit of white grape juice, apples, some slight spice/clove, and a bit of pineapple - rather muted and reserved.

The flavour is a bit bready, with bananas, slighter spice than suggested by even the subtle smell, pineapple/apple, pear... and just the faintest hint of a yeasty "funk".

The feel is light yet slightly slick - very smooth. The carbonation is nice - faint microtingles.

At first, I expected more than what I was getting from it, but this one ended up being quite nice - light, but sneakily flavourful and very enjoyable. I could drink a bunch of this one in one sitting! (which, at 6.5% yields more of a kick than normal)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gahan / PEI Brewing Co. Wins Again At CBA's

The Canadian Brewing Awards are tonight. I'm watching a bit of them on ustream. Sure enough, not long after I watch a bit, I see a fellow Aleander, B.A. Carver, accept a gold medal for a win in the brown ale category. The presenter wrongly said the triumphant Iron Horse was PEI's first-ever gold (they won one last year) at the CBA's, but whatever - it's good publicity and motivation for Gahan / The PEI Brewing Co. Congrats, folks!

Edit: last year's winner for them, their Sir John A Honey Wheat, won silver this year. View a complete list of winners here.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mill Street's Franconian-Style Bock

From the same sixer in November...

A very clear caramel brown, it has a creamy, yet short-lived head that lowers to a skim on top.

There is a bit of adjunct / corn smell. There are some roasted sweet smells in there, too... a bit like a marzen / oktoberfest brew.

There is definitely a sweet kick to it... it's mellowed out by some toffee or caramel notes, but the sweeter notes dominate... like candy... barley toy candy... maybe light maple syrup or corn syrup. The alcohol is pretty subtle, but noticeable. Maybe some chocolate. Raisins.

The finish is sweet, and the feel is medium with a minimally sticky finish. There is a bit of alcohol in the feel, especially on the sides of the tongue, it seems.

Overall, at first, I was thinking it was just OK, that I wasn't won over, and wouldn't bother with it again. Just too sweet, and not well-rounded enough. It grew on me, though. The aftertaste built, and so did the character / roundedness by the end. So... it's good enough to have a couple or few - just don't stop halfway through your first one. You won't like it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mill Street's ESB

Reviewed last November, this was in Mill Street's second-last mixed six-pack.

There was lots of head - reminded me of marshmallow fluff in look and motion, a bit. The beer was a bit paler than expected. Still, a nice, clear copper.

In the aroma was sponge toffee, and a slight metal/mineral quality.

The flavour came across as watered down... it had some malt sweetness / toffee, but was gone so fast.

The mouthfeel was light - watery, actually, with a wet, watery, watered-down finish. The carbonation was medium.

The taste was OK, and it went down easy... but it was SO watery. Blandblandbland in the finish, I thought. No character.