First off I am pleased to review a beer I consider to be one of the best beers brewed in the worldA masterpiece from Augsburg, Germany, Brauhaus Riegele’s Commerzienrat Privat is one of the most delicious fest lagers I have ever encountered. Although there are many fine examples of German brewing genius available, I put this in my go-to list as an acknowledgement to the tenacity of Luxe Brands of Monroe, Ohio for seeing fit to get this amazing imported beer on the crowded grocery store shelves, which is ironic, since this beer, available in 11.2 ounce bottled six packs, is only a dollar more than our local 12 ounce can productions.
A very serious Reinheitsgebot production, Commerzienrat Privat uses husk-separation, a labor intensive process known as Spelzentrennung, along with Brauhaus Riegele’s special lager yeast that is brewed and matured for 8 weeks, before being released.
I am not going into all that culinary babble to describe what this beer tastes like. I can only say that this beer has a nuanced botanical profile that can only be truly found in the finest examples of Bavarian brewing.
It is a bit of a throwback to see these heavy dark bottles with gold foiled wrapped bottle caps. But it is a pleasure from start to finish.
Braxton Brewing of Covington, Kentucky has released Twisted Bit, their contribution to the Dortmunder/Export style, and it is a very good one. A rich satisfying lager with the kind of body to be expected, from this time tested German tradition. This is a great edition to the Braxton portfolio.
Despite all the craft beer hype, beer sales have been in decline for quite some time. Breweries seeking to increase volume have started packaging beer in larger formats. Thus we now see 15-packs and 30-packs to appeal to cost conscious consumers who see little virtue in buying apex priced six or four packs. So it is not too surprising that Great Lakes Brewing Co. released their Rally Drum Red AleIn 12 packs of 16 ounce cans. This red ale has much in common with Cincinnati’s Christian Moerlein OTR AleA valuable reasonably priced beer. Both of these beers are 5.8% abv. The OTR has an IBU rating of 40, while Rally Drum is 45, giving Rally Drum a slightly more bitter dry finish. Both of these very good beers (OTR proud brewing in Cincinnati, and Rally Drum brewed by Harpoon Brewing in Boston, MA) are excellent choices where quantity and quality are not a separate consideration.