Thursday, July 17, 2014

Old Chub and a Pack of Other Phat Beers at Gardina's

Yesterday, I spied a flock of beers recently added to the shelves and draught line-up at Gardina’s that I thought I’d pass along. The list is long, so let's get to it.

Oskar Blues Old Chub Nitro. A big Scotch ale in a 16-ounce can with a widget. If ever there was a beer that benefited from being nitrogenated, it’s this one. A creamy beer under normal circumstances, on nitro it’s like whipped cream. It pours deep brown with a cascading head that settles into a one-finger cap that’ll put a tan mustache of foam on your lip. Without the CO2 pushing up the aroma, there’s not a lot happening in the nose, but the flavor certainly isn’t lacking. It oozes rich, caramel malt flavors from stern to bow with some tobacco, molasses and roast coming along with it. Hops? Forget it. This beer is all about malt and mouthfeel. The texture is smooth and lush; it paints your tongue. It’s a sweet beer, but not overly sticky. Old Chub has never really been my thing, but in this format it’s an altogether different animal and, to me, much better. You’d never guess it’s 8% ABV, so watch your step with this beer.

O'so Restless Soul. This is the Plover brewery’s Dank Imperial Red Ale aged in oak barrels with Brettanomyces. I’ve had this one. It’s along the lines of a hoppy Oud bruin with a pronounced wine-like character that’s different and enjoyable. O’so keeps doing interesting things.

Dark Horse IPA Variety Pack. The Michigan brewery’s flagship Crooked Tree IPA brewed four different ways, each using a different hop. I believe Gardina’s is selling individual bottles from the 12-pack. A very limited run.

Summit Brewing’s Southern Cape Sparkling Ale. A pale ale brewed with a good hit of Southern Hemisphere hops and malts from Australia and Chile. It’s hop forward and just 4.4% ABV. Sounds like a good summer quencher.

Snarling Badger Berliner Weisse. A 7.5% ABV Berliner Weisse? Nobody needed to do this, but Grand Teton Brewing of Victor, Idaho did. Another example of an American brewery taking an ossified beer style and upending it... ain’t nothing wrong with that.

OK, if you head over to Gardina’s there’s also a few beers on draught you might want to press to your face. Below is the updated list... check out that New Belgium beer. The geeks at RateBeer are practically shitting themselves over this one. Fat chance you’ll meet it again anytime soon....

• New Belgium Le Terroir Dry-Hopped Sour Ale
• Hinterland Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged White Out Double IPA
• Duvel Single Belgian Pale Ale
• Black Husky Equinox Howler Imperial Pale Ale
• Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron Imperial Brown Ale
• Deschutes Black Butte Porter
• O'so Rusty Red Ale
• New Glarus Yokel Zwickelbier
• Titletown Johnny "Blood" Red Ale
• Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
• Finch's Threadless IPA
• Steven's Point Brewing Nude Beach Summer Wheat Ale

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