2013 April Beer Series

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in Beer Blog | 0 comments

Hennepin Farmhouse Saison Ale
Brewery Ommegang
Cooperstown, New York
ommegangOmmegang began brewing Belgian-style ales in 1997. Founded by Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield, owners of Vanberg and DeWolf beer import company, and three family owned Belgian breweries including Duvel Moortgat. Ommegang started up in a purpose-built building based on a traditional Belgian farmhouse, set on a former 136-acre hop farm in the Susqehanna River Valley, four miles south of Cooperstown, New York in the Town of Milford. They are among the finest Belgian beers that are not produced in Belgium.
Father Hennepin was a Belgian-born man of long ago, sent to the New World by church order in the late 17th century. He’s perhaps best known for his exploration of two waterfalls: Niagara Falls, and the only waterfall on the Mississippi river, St. Anthony Falls. This namesake saison has an aroma that shows off lemony zest, fresh spice, and mild honey sweetness. Its pale appearance belies the 7.7% ABV, as does Hennepin’s easy drinkability. Beginning with a delicate bready sweetness, the beer quickly moves into complex blends of fruit, spice, yeast, and mild floral hops. Effervescent scrubbing bubbles cleanse the palate, and subtle alcohol warmth and a medium body make Hennepin a perfect thirst-quencher.  When I want a full throttle summer beer, this is the one I reach for.~ Great match for seafood.

Centennial Red
Long Trail Brewing Company
Bridgewaters Corners, Vermont
long trail cent red bottleThe Long Trail Brewing Company began its mission to brew high quality craft beer in November 1989. A humble beginning in the basement of the old Bridgewater Woolen Mill along the Ottauquechee River in the Green Mountains of Vermont was soon outgrown so the brewery packed up and “Hit the Trail” up the road to a riverside hay field where they now reside.
Long Trail takes the words “Environmentally Conscious” very seriously. Appreciation for their surroundings and an understanding of the resource limitations of their local environment have inspired the company to consider ways to minimize the environmental impact the brewery has on the area. All spent grain and spent hops are fed to local dairy cattle as a valuable food supplement, steam from the brewing process is condensed into hot water and the thermal energy is used to heat water for the next brewing cycle saving up to 2,000 gallons of propane a month. By combining the very best ingredients available – like pure Vermont drinking water – and environmentally minded brewing processes with a genuine passion for brewing high quality craft beer, Long Trail proudly produces an extraordinary Family of Fine Ales.   
Centennial Ale was brewed to celebrate 100 years of the oldest hiking trail in North America, the Long Trail. This ale features a slightly sweet malt flavor delicately balanced by the use of centennial hops. This bigger beer goes down smooth.

White Gold
Ithaca Beer Company
Ithaca, New York
Ithaca White GoldDan Mitchell’s original concept for Ithaca Beer Company began in 1995, but it wasn’t until December of 1997 that the brewing system was purchased. It was discovered by chance after investigating another system in Texas that looked great on paper, but wasn’t adequate for the needs of the brewery. After passing on that system Dan had some time to kill and decided to travel around. During a visit to a brewpub in Austin, TX he discovered what would become their brewing system. He went in and asked them what kind of beers they made. They told him that they had stopped making beer and were actually preparing to sell their system. After checking it out the purchase was made and a month later the system was shipped up to Ithaca. Sixteen years later and Ithaca Beer Company now sells beer throughout New York State, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Ohio.
White Gold is a Belgo-American ale brewed with domestic barley and French wheat malts, the finest continental and US grown hops, and fermented with Belgian, English and Wild yeasts. Enjoy the glowing opaque appearance, fruity and herbal aromas, zesty mouthfeel and bone-dry finish.

Red Rocket Ale
Bear Republic Brewing Company
Cloverdale, California
Bear Republic Red-RocketIn the modern town of Healdsburg, lies one of America’s best and most inventive brewpubs. Bear Republic is a little brewery with a growing reputation among craft beer enthusiasts. The pub is part sports bar, part eclectic left coast idealist – it celebrates life and all of its offerings. The brewery distributes its offerings in 22 ounce bottles in select markets across the country, including Massachusetts. Red Rocket Ale was originally a Scottish Ale but has been tweaked over the years and is now closer to an American Red Ale.
“Mildly chilled, hazy mahogany color. Dense latte-looking foam does not want to drop out of the picture. Rich, dark caramel malt nose with hints of raisins and a balance of piney herbal hop. The carbonation is imbedded very deep from the bottle conditioning which produces a sublime smoothness. Flavors of caramel, cocoa powder and Portuguese sweet bread from the malt comes to mind. Hop bitterness comes in with a mild tingling sharpness and a long trail of woody earthy flavor. Mildly warming alcohol. A dryness sets in middle to end with toasted biscuit maltiness and rough herbal hop flavors.
Scottish Red gone wild. OK, so it is hybrid style which makes it an American Red by default. Regardless of what the style is it’s one hell of a flavor-packed brew. High level of maltiness is curbed by a substantial hoppiness and smoothed out by the bottle conditioning. American Real Ale at its best here.” ~ 97 points Beer Advocate  

“Hot damn! This is one insanely smooth beer! Mouthfeel is thick, but soft, milky and silky in its consistency. Loads of malt body. Sweet, but in a chocolate cake sort of way and very more-ish … as in I want more dammit! Touch of molasses-like and raw-honey-like flavour. Malts are backed by a juicy fruit character. The beer then goes dry with a semi-sharp astringency, but for a brief moment where a roasted quality meets a subtle hop bitterness … it soon gets coated with more malty goodness. Metallic, earthy notes. Light smokey / burnt flavours around the edges. Dry, grainy finish.
A freagin’ outstanding stout! Seems more like a sweet stout though? But, to hell with it … this is a tasty brew! Massive, complex and thoroughly enjoyable! One of the better stouts to have met my palate in recent days, and one that actually excited my palate. Seek out this beer immediately.” ~98 points Beer Advocate

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