To be precise, I do not own an automobile, nor a license to drive one. So in order for me to obtain certain beers that either I have read about or basically been made aware of, I sometimes have to use the Metro and make a bus trip clear across town. Mind you, I am not complaining about this. Over the many years as a beer seeker (which by the way, is the reason the late great writer Michael Jackson called himself The Beer Hunter) I have often gone to extraordinary lengths to satisfy my obsessive curiosity. Call it adventures in beer.
Despite the tremendous growth of breweries in the United States. the problem of obtaining samples still remain. But a recent pleasant odyssey reminded this beer doctor that such efforts, are certainly worth the trouble.
First to the birthday beer: Shiner’s 108th Birthday celebration is a collaborative effort with Chameleon Cold-Brew of Austin. A dark brown pour with an inviting malty nose, and solid foam retention. This is an easy drinking coffee ale. Another delightful surprise from the Spoetzl Brewery, where their one time only commemorative recipes have become legendary.
I am happy to see Great Lakes Brewing add Turntable Pils to their year round portfolio A very tasty Czech-style pilsner that hits all the right notes. Crisp and very refreshing.
The same can be said of Victory Brewing’s Prima Pils This fresh can version isanother lesson in what the word drinkability actually means.
Rhinegeist’s Fiction This is a concept ale that for myself, misses the mark. By that I mean I have encountered other recipes that make use of New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops in a more interesting way. Nevertheless the use of a Belgian yeast strain gives this production a twist. What might be normally considered a Belgian golden ale is given a southern hemisphere detour, producing all kinds of of tropical citrus notes (which seems to be all the rage these days). Unfortunately the extreme dry finish becomes a bitter reminder that does not go away. It is said to be somewhat sessionable (that silly word again) but I found this to be a bit of a chore to drink.
On the other hand Rhinegeist Hans is a style of beer I have always enjoyed. A golden coloured Vienna style lager. This has the nutty malt profile this type of beer is famous for. Nicely balanced with soft doughy notes. This is a very good beer I will certainly buy again.
The traditional side of my beer drinking nature reminds me that we are moving into the season of Bock. An original craft style (before the word craft was even used). What better reminder of the liquid bread approach is Troegs Troegenator This big double bock embraces its historic tradition without any apology.