Four String Brewing Company – Skeleton Red IPA – Four String opened up a small tap room back in November and I have been there a couple of times. It has helped that it has given me more chances to grab a growler from them. Above is a picture of their chalk board beer list, the front of the bar and the beer is seating on a rough concrete poured bar top. It has a cool look to it. You can also inspect the brewing kettles while you’re in there. Enough about the tap room, this beer was on tap because it was a Halloween special that they still had some left. It is an India Pale Ale that is made with malted rye instead of barley malt. It makes for a hoppy, bitter flavor that has a twist to it. I like a lot of their beers, but this one is not going to be a favorite. If you like that hop flavor though, this one is for you.
Barley’s Brewing Company – Blood Thirst Wheat – I may have made an error on what to call a local beer last week. I saw both Barley’s on a local ballot for best beer. After inspecting both websites more, I’ll have to include them on my choices next year. I mention that because this beer in particular could make the list. Or should have made the list? The name and color comes from using blood oranges which I became familiar with when living in Italy. The type of blood oranges that I ate originated from Sicily. The other two types are from Spain and Morocco. Barley’s uses the Sicilian version to create this tasty beer. This beer had just a hint of tartness, sweetness and you could still taste the wheat. It was a very delectable beverage that went down like orange juice at breakfast. It has an ABV of 5.0% so it’s in the session territory but with the way I drank it, I’d still get hammered on it.
Barley’s Smokehouse & Brewpub – Sexy Sadie Sixty Season Saison – Considering that Saison is French for season, this beer is actually called Sexy Sadie Sixty Season Season. That is unnecessary. So is having five words in a beer name. The term saison came from beers that French farms would start fermenting in the winter for use while farming in the spring and summer. They don’t have a characteristic to make them a definite style but they do tend to be a lighter beer although the Saison Noir from Seventh Son is an exception. The Smokehouse brewed this one with coriander, black peppercorn, bitter orange peel, lemongrass and fresh ginger. The later was used the most to punch up this beverage, the orange peel gave it some bitterness (25 IBU) that was balanced out by just a touch of sweetness. Coriander and black peppercorn are normally assertive but were downplayed in this beer. It has a 7.0% ABV so this beverage is higher in alcohol content than most of it’s saisonian friends.
Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery – Mystic Mama – This company has gotten a lot of web time from me. I believe this beverage is the last one that you can buy in cans so I’ll need to wait for another Beerfest (It’ll be a rough wait until next Saturday) to try more from this company. I always end up taking a picture of their cans because they do have some solid artwork on them. I’d still go with 21st Amendment for best labeling. To this beverage though, it’s a hoptastic beer that uses four types of hops to arrive at a bitter beer that isn’t to my liking. They say that there are grapefruit, tangerine and pine flavors but they were overwhelmed to me. Granted, masking a pine flavor is better even when it’s bitter. The tangerine may have changed the hue of this beverage but it did nothing to balance out the bitter. It has the same ABV as Sexy Sadie at 7.0% but doesn’t go down as smoothly in my mouth. – Kevin