Saturday, December 15, 2012

Oshkosh Beer Sampler 003: Smokin’ Beers at O’Marro’s

A slanted and endless survey of what’s pouring in Oshkosh... tallied one two beers at a time.

What: Pearl Street’s Smokin’ Hemp Porter & O’so’s Bamrique Smoked Lager

Where: O'Marro's Public HOuse

Why: Beers featuring the flavor and aroma of smoked malt often seem to divide drinkers of good brew into distinct camps. You either love ‘em or hate ‘em.  Those who have had something like the Märzen rauchbier from Aecht Schlenkerla and found its meaty smokiness too aggressive, tend to get turned off from the style all together. But smoked beers don’t have to be such an either/or proposition. There are now a couple pouring on tap at O’Marro’s that you might find more inviting, if you’ve found yourself on the hate ‘em side of the smoked-beer divide.

Pearl Street’s Smokin’ Hemp Porter and O’so’s Bamrique Smoked Lager are both currently on tap at O’Marro’s. Both are gently smoked beers with the smoky notes playing nicely with the other flavors. Smokin’ Hemp Porter is a medium bodied beer that’s toasty and roasty with just enough porkiness to keep the hard-core smoke lover interested. The hemp thing in the title is from the toasted Canadian hemp seeds they throw into the mash. Nice idea, but don’t throw away that secret brownie recipe. The Bamrique Smoke lager steps up the smoke a notch, but it’s still nowhere near too much. Body wise it’s similar to Smokin’ Hemp Porter, but this one has a tasty jerky-like spiciness that I really enjoyed. This is a fine beer. These would be great beers to drink side by side and then blend them when you get to the second half of each glass. No saying how long they’ll last. Get ‘em while the smoking lamp is lit.

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