Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Beer in the Oshkosh Beer Garden

The September issue of the Oshkosh SCENE is now out (get your copy at one of these fine shops) and inside you’ll find my new Oshkosh Beer Garden column. This time, it’s about recent developments at Fox River Brewing / Fratellos here in Oshkosh and Appleton. In the article I cover some of the experiments that Fox River brewmaster Kevin Bowen has been conducting and then sharing over the bar. If you’d like to get a taste of what Bowen is up to, there’s a beer that just went on tap  in the Fieldhouse at Fratellos that serves as a good example. The beer is Vintage 2011 Abbey Normal. It’s a Belgian Dubbel that’s been aged for two years and has developed considerably during that time. When the beer came out in 2011, it was giving off a lot of Belgian yeast character. The aroma was heavy on clove and banana esters while the flavor was dominated by molasses and dark fruit underpinned by the phenolic bite common to Belgian yeast strains. Age has changed the ale’s scent substantially with those bold esters almost entirely subdued. The flavor has taken on a brandy-like aspect with a nice bit of mellow caramel coming up as well. The beer is also now finer and less full bodied. Despite being 6.75%, it’s very drinkable. The only thing is, you have to let it warm a bit before you start going at it. They’re serving this one too cold and you’ll miss much of its complexity if you don’t allow it to warm. It’s a beer worth giving some time to.

No comments:

Post a Comment