Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spinnakers Red Fife Dunkelweizen

I am catching up, this one was from May. Doubt you can find this one in stores anymore, too bad it was rather nice. Perhaps I should try and give a bit on knowledge, the limited amount that I have. Dunkelwiezen is loosely translated into dark wheat ale. This dunkel is an ale, as contrasted with a Munich dunkel which is a lager. This style of wheat beer is middle of the road beer. Nothing too flashy, IBU bitterness not too high and ABV in the normal range. The unique flavours come from a combination of lots of wheat malt used, usually 50% or higher, and a wonderful German wheat yeast. This yeast produces all sorts of spicy phenols and fruity esters. Cloves and pepper flavours are from the phenols and the banana and bubblegum are fruity esters. For those that want to get super beer geeky, take a whiff of a wheat beer and say, "Mmmm, love that isoamyl acetate and 4-vinyl guaiacol. These and the chemical compounds associated with the flavours of bananas and cloves, respectively. Enough knowledge, what about the beer.

Red Fife Dunkelweizen = 5/10

Beers like this are rarely highly rated because they are just simple and nice. Nothing too flashy in the nose, just the expected toasted banana bread, cloves and mild vanilla. The sip is spot on with a creamy fruitiness with hints of chocolate, wheat cakes and saw dust. There was a bit of soy in there, but nothing outrageous. My finish was a banana bread creaminess the faded quickly away. Just a simple and tasty sipper.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 4.5% (yay for a session strength ale)
Value +1
Appearance 0

Glassware: Most certainly a German weizen glass. This glass is unique with a tall body and an exaggeratedly large bowl at the top. These beers tend to produce a large fluffy head due to larger than usual amounts of protein from the wheat malts. I love these glasses because they are often very ornate with great art and sometimes gold rims.

Food Pairings: Most anything will do as the beer flavours are calm. Something grilled and slightly fatty would work nice, maybe with some breadiness too. I'm thinking of a spicy sausage sandwich.

Cellar: Nope. Then again I had a many year old Aventinus and it was stellar

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hip as Funk IPA by Moon Under Water

I am really far behind in my posts, this beer was released in January. The name eludes to the flavours and it also has a great label. Correct me if I am wrong, but is this the first Brett conditioned beer to be released in Victoria? If so, props to Clay for releasing a brave new beer. If not, just props anyways for a great beer.

Hip as Funk = 7/10

The nose is all brett with nostril tingles of wood pile and wool gloves. It is a pleasantly tart and acrid sip that might be categorized as medium in body. To balance the tartness is a light pit fruit sweetness that encompasses apricots, dried pears, peaches and horse blanket. Sadly all these great flavours just end. It is has an oddly clean ending for an initially funky beer.

Taste +4
Aftertaste 0 (it just ends)
Alcohol Content +1 7%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (great label)

Glassware: I would prefer a tulip, but my buddy Brian has chosen a hefe style. Which is fine due to abundant head produced.

Food Pairings: Pairing with sour beers is a challange, but pick something on the light side. A good idea might be a grilled ham and a funky brie cheese. The high carbonation of dryness would work well to remove fatty or spicy tastes from the tongue; hello Pad Thai! A spicy sausage hoagie would be a good choice.

Cellar: The brett yeast might produce some interesting changes with the residual sugar. Might be worth it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Insubordinate Session IPA by Category 12

It is so nice to have a Cicerone working at a small, local brewery. That way, when they say that a beer is sessionable, it actually is. I suppose that this means Category 12 is almost a serious local brewery. In my selfish opinion I feel there are some informal criteria to meet to be considered a serious craft brewery. There are five of them, feel free to comment if you think I am crazy. First, you must produce a noteworthy IPA. A black IPA could be substituted perhaps.  Almost everyone has one, some are better than others. Second, you must make a high gravity beer that is worth cellaring. This can be a barley wine, stout or a weird Belgian thing. Third, you must do a unique cask once a year. It cannot be a dry-hopped-something-you-already-have-on-tap. Fourth, you must make something session strength that is quaffable. Finally, you must brew something with a unique yeast or something sour. How many local breweries meet all of these criteria? Most of them do, or are well on their way to fulfilling these criteria. Well, this is rather opinionated of me. This never happens. Anyways I digress.

This is the fifth release by the kids on Keating Cross. The previous releases were a pale ale and a Belgian dark. Both of which I tasted but forgot to review; I am such a slacker.  The pale ale gets a 7 and the dark gets an 6. There was a weird aroma on the dark that threw me off. Still both were very tasty, I especially liked the pale. Lots of aroma and not too grassy. Again I digress, must be the lack of caffeine.

Insubordinate = 9/10

This brew is darn tasty. An unexpected nose hits you with abundant pine/cedar and grapefruit citrus. The gripping bitterness followed the nose, yet faded quickly to reveal a mix of bready, biscuit and caramel malts. A simple, yet very drinkable beer, which is what a session ale should be. Oh and under 5%ABV.

Taste= +4
Aftertaste = +2
Alcohol Content +1 (low alcohol that doesn't taste weak)
Value +1
Appearance +1 (nice art and reasonable description of flavour)

Glassware: What ever you have is fine. I did not include a photo of my glassware choice due to ummm technical difficulties.

Food Pairings: A sharp cheddar would pair nicely, maybe even a Stilton. There is a bit of spiciness, pine and citrus going on in this beer. Would enhance a cedar grilled salmon nicely or contrast a sweeter pasta dish with some citrus component. Try with tuna lemon pasta.

Cellar: nope