Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Few Notes On New Beer

A trio of noteworthy beers have recently gone on tap here in Oshkosh, so let’s belly up to the bar and see what we’ve got.

Crooked Tree IPA
On tap at Oblio’s
I don’t know why, but Michigan and hop-heavy beer seem to go hand in hand. Bells’ Hopslam, Founder’s Centennial IPA and New Holland’s Mad Hatter IPA are three that immediately come to mind. Crooked Tree, by Dark Horse out of Marshall, Michigan, is definitely up to that standard. This is one for the hop freaks. Lots of woody-pine aroma that bursts open as it pours into your mouth. The bittnerness builds and builds as you drink it. There’s just enough malt presence to keeps the bitterness from growing overwhelming, but not enough that you’ll ever forget the hops. Another really good beer from Dark Horse.

Samuel Adams Noble Pils 
On tap at O’Marro’s (coming soon to Dublin’s)
Here’s another brew that’s all about the hops, yet it has almost nothing in common with the Crooked Tree IPA. This is an extremely drinkable, straightforward Czech style pilsner brewed with all five varieties of Noble hops. Saaz seems to be the dominant strain, but in quite a different way than you get from something like Pilsner Urquell. The bottled version might be a touch over-carbonated, but the draught pint I had last night was dead on. The beer finishes dry with an easy blend of hay-like malt and earthy hops, inviting the next drink. I could make a summer habit of this one.

St.Patrick's Best Ale
On tap at Barley & Hops
Here’s a new Irish ale from Strangford Lough (pronounced lock) Brewing of County Down, Ireland. Just in time for you know what, here’s a beer you could drink all night on that Sainted day. It’s got that easy going, Irish malt character that to me tastes like lightly smoked caramel, but it’s not cloying in the least. I picked up a bit of lemony hops in there, too. I only had a sample of this so I’m not going to go too far out on a limb to describe it, but it definitely came across as a highly session-able brew. As a side note, Strangford brews the wort for this in Ireland and then ships it over here where it’s fermented into beer. They’re not the only brewery to do such a thing, but as a homebrewer this practice always amazes me. I get nervous totting my wort halfway across the room.

If these don't pique your palate, Hops & Props is just a few days off. Tickets are still available. Cheers!

No comments:

Post a Comment