Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Couple of Hometown Brews

There’s a couple of excellent Fox River Brewing Company lagers pouring exactly right now at Fratellos in Oshkosh. They’re rich and hearty and a nice buffer to this cool damp that’s hovering about. Let’s check ‘em out...

Here’s Fox River’s entry into the Oktoberfest stream. I need to have a couple more, but this might be my favorite American Oktoberfest for this year. I’ve drank a lot of them over the last two months and have come across too many that are overtly sweet. While the malty character of this style might suggest sweetness, the beer ought to end up being relatively crisp and dry. This one gets it right.

It’s a bronze beer that sends a waft of Munich-malt aroma out of the glass. I get a lot of clean malt flavor from this. I kept thinking bread crust and caramel with a dash of pepper from the hops. The finish has a snappy bitterness that’s a good counterweight to the malt flavor.

Here’s something for the homebrewers. I got in touch with Kevin Bowen, brewmaster at Fox River, and he was kind enough to share all the basics on this beer. It goes like this:

Original Gravity: 16.2° P
Terminal Gravity: 3.9° P
Lovibond: 12°
ABV: 6.2%
IBUs: 22.2

Malt Bill
Munich 1 & 2
Bonlander Munich
Caramunich 3
Dehusked Carafa 3

German Select
German Hallertau

Schwarzbier literally means black beer. Back in the day, they used to call this style Kulmbacher. It was once a popular style in Oshkosh with the local brewers producing it year round. Fox River’s take on the style is somewhat of a throwback to those earlier beers. Most schwarzbiers you find these days are somewhat whispy. They’re often like a pils with a neutral coloring malt to blacken the beer. This one is more substantial.

It’s definitely a black beer with foam that’s sticky and tan. There’s a hit of roast in the aroma that follows through in the flavor. There’s a fat note of licorice here. I enjoy that. It’s a full-bodied beer. Very pleasing in the mouth. I was shocked when I learned that it’s just 4.1% ABV. It seems much more substantial. It’s a beer to drink by the growler! I really like this one.

Once again, here’s Kevin with the specs:

Original Gravity: 11.5° P
Terminal Gravity: 3.5° P
Lovibond: 48°
ABV: 4.1%
IBUs: 17

Malt Bill
2 row
Munich 2
Caramunich 2
Dehusked Carafa 3

German Magnum
Czech Saaz

Something else you might want to know: Fratellos has Ale Asylum’s KINK on as their guest beer right now. I haven’t had it, but I’ve heard good things. It’s a 7.4% Blegian-style Abbey ale. According to Ale Asylum it’s, “Creamy and smooth with a thrust of spice in the aroma and a climatic finish.” Sounds dramatic.

Here’s the full board showing what’s pouring at Fratello’s as of yesterday.
Click the pic for easier reading. Prost!

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