A slanted and endless survey of what’s pouring in Oshkosh... tallied one beer at a time.
What: Alaskan Imperial Red Ale
Where: Festival Foods in Oshkosh where they dole out 22 oz. bottles of it for $7.99.
Why: Because if you love hops, this beer will please you to no end. The beer isn’t exclusively about hops, but what it does with its lupulin is what sets it apart. The aroma leads with hops that come off like a big gust of pineapple. As the beer warms, the malt comes up and it turns to smelling like strawberry shortcake. Mouthwise, it’s a rich, chewy ale with a dense base of malt. You’ll know immediately that it’s a big beer (8.5%), but the alcohol isn’t too overt. It begins smooth and creamy. Then the hops kick in. After that, it’s all juicy fruit and bitterness with gobs of pine, tropical fruit and sharp citrus. Makes me think of summer. A nice reminder in the dead of winter that green things are coming. If hops are your thing, add this beer to your list.