Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Couple Ways to Have Fun With Your Mouth This Weekend in Oshkosh

I planned on putting something else up here today. Then I ran into a couple of beers that blew that crap out of the water. Get a load of these...

Bière de Seigle by Door County Brewing
Here’s an edgy saison out of sleepy Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin. Actually, while the beer this brewery sells on draught at its tap house is made at its Baileys Harbor brewery, its bottled product is brewed and packaged (using part of the old Peoples bottling line) in Black River Falls at Sand Creek Brewing. Makes sense? Don’t worry about it, this here is an excellent beer. But it took me a few gulps to realize that.

This is not a smooth beer. Its flavors are aggressive and penetrating. It’s a typically cloudy, straw colored, farmhouse ale with a rocky, white head and a yeasty aroma that’s peppery and sharp. And it goes wild in your mouth. The beer presents a wide range of flavors: ginger, honey, grapefruit rind, bubblegum, vinyl, lemon... Does any of that sound good together? You’d be surprised. There’s also an assertive hop bite to it that comes together in a good way with the spicy character of the yeast and the sharpness of the rye malt used here. There’s nothing mellow about this beer, but it’s insistence is wonderful. It took me half a bottle to get the hang of it. By the end, I liked it so much I had to immediately open another. Imagine my delight when I discovered it was 7% ABV.

Door County Brewing’s Bière de Seigle is being sold in 4-packs at Ski's Meat Market in downtown Oshkosh. Price: $7.99.

Twelve-Dog Imperial Stout by Black Husky Brewing
Black Husky Brewing out of rural Pembine, Wisconsin might be my favorite small, Wisconsin brewery. Everything I try from them seems to shine. And thanks to Adam at Gardina’s, Oshkosh is one of the few spots in the state that gets a consistent flow of Black Husky beer. If you’ve yet to get wise to this brewery, this nearly 9% imperial stout would be a great way to get acquainted.

It pours pitch black under a relentless cap of frosting-like foam that’s deep tan. The aroma and flavor are perfectly in tune, the one matching the other note for note. Dark chocolate, sweet caramel, coffee and roast all come swirling together. The mouthfeel is lush, almost slick, and coating. For all of it’s rich flavor, though, the beer is not over imposing. That’s the art of this thing. Too many American craft brewers like to ratchet up this style of beer to a point where it becomes an obnoxious muck in your mouth. None of that here. This stout lacks nothing when it comes to flavor while maintaining a balance that keeps it from being overbearing. It’s a great beer, especially for this time of year.

Black Husky’s Twelve-Dog Imperial Stout is available in 22oz bombers at Gardina’s in Oshkosh. Price: $10.99


  1. Biere de Siegel was one of my commercial favorites at this year's blues and brews, thanks for the heads-up Lee!

  2. No problem, Tim. I had been looking for that beer for a while. Glad to have finally grabbed it in Oshkosh.