Took a trip up north. Here's what we found.
People's Brewing's tasting room has a full bar at the front of the brewery. Yes, good times.
- Mr. Brown is back with chocolate, black, and caramalt and Columbus and Cluster hops. 7%, 47 IBU, and a full mouth feel.
- The Procrastonator Double Helles Bock uses Pilsner malt and Pearl Hops at 36 IBU to give a sweetish 7.2% strong beer that may become a staple or the grounds for a lighter true Helles Bock down the line.
- Aberrant Amber is a nice dinner Amber with a touch of spice from Amarillo and Centennial. 5.5%, 48 IBU.
Just 2 blocks away, Crown Brewing was open with a few people enjoying their taps. New beers include
- Belgian Triple – Soft peach color. 9.1%. Little aroma, somewhat sweet, neutral and very to style.
- Milk Chocolate Stout – Thick, plenty of carbonation, very drinkable, lots of chocolate coming through from the 20 pounds added to the boil. 7.1%. A+
- Winter Warlock. Reddish cherry. Small malt aroma. At 7.1% a pleasant knickerdropper with no flaws. Uses maple syrup and honey along with spices in the brew kettle.
Three Floyds hasn't changed much from their winning formula. The beers are varied and interesting.
- The Ostemoller (AKA Osti) – Smoked Helles Lager with 5.1% and 28 IBU. Substantial Rauchness comes in late. More smoke than Spezial and less bacon than Schlenkera. A+
- The Creeper Dopplebock. 9% and 23 IBU. Jet black with a tan head, looking like a Stout, Porter, Black IPA, or a Mild and the Creamy marshmallow, chocolate malt, and nut notes really confuse the Dopplebock designation.
- Also on tap: Alpha King, Robert the Bruce, Pride & Joy, Gumballhead, Dreadnaught, Arctic Panzer Wolf IPA, Sand Pebbles Strong American Brown, Owd Engwish Barley Whine, Aotearoa New Zealand hopped Amber, Hell's Black Inteligencer Oatmeal Stout.
The new Beer Geeks Pub in Highland was the next stop. It's at 3030 45th St. in a shopping center. 20 taps, 1 handpull. Non-smoking. A comfortable roadhouse feel, knowledgeable staff, detailed beer menu, and a cardigan clientele make this a new favorite local for the area. The beer pictures on the walls were drawn by July Barrera.
Figure 8 Brewing was also closed as we went through. The Ro Shampo at Beer Geeks sill suffice. It has 6 malts to make an Imperial Red Ale at 7.5%. Not a Rad Red or other ultra-hoppy Summit brew, rather, it is quaffable and sneaky.
So it was off to Shoreline for a few trials.
- Kolsh Syrah Syrah is bright golden and served quite cold in a wine glass. Fiting since it has been barrel aged in a wine barrel. A distinct wine (not cider) punch to the palatte.
- 5th Anniversary Wet Hop – Good but not a freshness bomb anymore.
- Beltaine – As always, liquid Scottish. A favorite.
- Discombobulation – Barley wine aged on Bourbon barrels. True BW with a touch of oakey vanilla. Strong and ready to drink. Worthy. A+
- Lost Sailor Imperial Stout aged in a Bourbon barrel. Noticeable Imperial Stoutness. Not noticeable barrel.
- Seven Red – Red Rye with 4 types of rye, such as Crystal Red, and 3 other malts.
Sam is putting in 2 30bbl fermenters and a 30bbl conditioning tank in the back room to join the phalanx of oak barrels.
These barrels have produced, with up to year of aging, 6 beers that are available at the bar ($20/750ml): Lost Sailor Imperial Stout, Discombobulation Celebration, Sum Cens IIPA, Big Bella Scotch, Curse the Goat Dopplebock (all of these in Bourbon barrels), and Seven Red on a French Shiraz oak wine barrel.
Coming up: Bavarian Bombshell, Black IPA, Don't Panic English Pale Ale, Singing Sands Oatmeal Stout.
At Back Road, things are going along as normal. Chuck's Christmas Ale is conditioning. This year it is an oak-aged Baltic Porter. After 1 week in the wood it has a perfumey lavender aroma over a solid base. Give it a month more aging and it'll be perfect for the season.
Mishawaka Brewing's seasonal is a
- Pumpin Ale that is bright, yellow, and strong pumpkin pie from the aroma through the lingering aftertaste.
- Seven Mules Kick-Ass name got the KA for a reason. Bitter, then a touch of caramel then a massive floral hops attack.