First off – thanks go to Dennis and Jiggy for their comments. Not only was it great hearing from both, the beers they suggested were really good (as is the flavor-profiling website that Jiggy pointed out). It would be very cool to turn this beer list into more of an open forum – throw me whatever advice, suggestions, or questions you can think of.
And now on to the beer…
This week started with a couple more from Ithaca Beer Company, which is now officially on my radar. The first one was a smoked porter – thick, dark, smoky, almost meaty. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a beer like it before, but it was pretty wild. It was sort of like a campfire in a glass – it had everything from the umami of the hotdogs to the smokey sweetness of the s’mores. Still, as has been the case with these new beers, I appreciated it but didn’t really love it. This is definitely a beer I’d like to try again after I acclimate a little to the style.
The next one – Cold Front – was a little more familiar, but just as complex and flavorful. The bottle says it’s an amber ale, but it tasted much more like a Belgian Dark, a la Corsendonk. I loved this beer – between the dark cherry sweetness, the lemon tartness, and the toasted coffee, it had a ton going on. Still, it wasn’t such a wallop that it was a challenge to drink. Really good stuff.
And while it’s still in season, I highly recommend trying the Oktober Fest-Marzen by Ayinger. Apparently – because it’s brewed in Aying, Germany, rather than in Munich – it’s not an official Oktoberfest lager (hence the space between Oktober and Fest). Whatever. This is meaningless to me, as it probably is to most Germans. The beer is delicious and the bottle is just as unpronounceable as the real stuff.
The week ended with a couple of the beers suggested by Dennis and Jiggy, both by Dogfish Head. First off, if you’re at all interested in beer and craft breweries, I really recommend learning more about Dogfish Head and it’s owner, Sam Calagione. Not only is his beer awesome, his philosophy is refreshingly genuine. Here’s a great article recommended by my friend, Joe, about him.
As for the beer, they’re both unquestionably well constructed. In fact, while I’m still new to really thinking about this stuff, both seem like they could be textbook examples of their styles. My only issue with Punkin is with its classification. It’s billed as a Pumpkin Ale, specified as a Brown Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices. To me, it tastes more like an Amber or Red Ale than either a Pumpkin or Brown. Still, you can’t argue with the product, which is really nice.
As always, let me know if there’s anything out there I should be trying!