I brought up the topic up of “Drink Local” the other week because I went to Staas Brewing recently which is a local brewer in Delaware. I don’t go there much because it’s another 15 minutes away from my place from the other brewers in Columbus proper. The bar tender told me he tends to go to Staas even in his off time because of similar considerations. I was informed by a patron who knew the couple who runs the brew pub that they are using one of their father’s recipes because he had been home brewing for years. His specialty was Belgian beers. Their mission statement on the opening of their site also says that they’re not trying to be experimental with their beers and are looking at more traditional recipes for their beers. They had an option for three, four or six in your flight of beers. Since they served them in three or four ounces, I was more than willing to try all twelve beers they had on tap. I tried to group them together to make sense.
The Runner Up – Extra Special Bitter – I started at the spot that I thought would be the least hoppy. It’s hard to know though when they don’t list IBU. This beer wasn’t particularly bitter to me so I’m going to wager a bet that I started in the right place. It had a cream ale mouth feel to it. At 5.1% ABV, it is a session beer. Solid start.
Pacer – Pale Ale – Pale Ales tend to run neck & neck in the IBU department with ESBs so I could have flipped the order of these two. They warn you that there is more malt and less hops than you’re used to. Staas was correct in that assumption because even some of the lighter local Pales like Columbus Brewing Pale Ale at 28 IBU have more of a bitter quality than this beer. The malt isn’t pronounced in this beer but it is more present than other pales. Both beers noted do come in at 5.5% ABV which isn’t week but it’s getting out of session territory.
Presidential – India Pale Ale – Staas is looking for a less bitter beer than you would normally get with an IPA and they completed their mission again. They do impart plenty of hop taste and aroma which means they’re putting the hops in later in the brewing process than most places and dry hopping which is the aroma part. They blend Centennial, Columbus, Amarillo and Simcoe hops to come up with this concoction. At 6.5% ABV, it is one of the lower alcohol content IPAs I’ve ever tasted.
Senior Status – Double India Pale Ale – Doubles can get rather bitter but Staas comes through again with a low bitter beer despite the style. They admit to dry hopping on this one with Citra hops which does give it a nice floral smell. It has more of an amber color than most DIPAs so we get more of a malt flavor than normal which is a running them. Clocking in at 8.7% ABV, this beer will do the trick in a hurry. Good thing I had a small glass.
Wildcat Sally – Farmhouse Saison Ale – I finally broke away from the traditional bitter beers to start exploring the rest of their menu. Farmhouse ales tend to be lighter and this beer wasn’t an exception. It had a light and bubbly taste to it. Wildcat isn’t overly spiced which is nice as people tend to go a bit over board with them which is easy with a lighter beer. One thing that isn’t common among saisons are a high ABV. This one does have a high one at 7.0% ABV though.
Golden Delicious – Belgian Golden Strong Ale – When I started dating The Lady, I tried to pull her into the craft beer scene. I tried lighter beers, dark beers and especially fruity beers. I failed because she stuck to only liking ciders. I mention this because I tried this one and said to the bar tender that it had more of a champagne feel to it. She asked to try it. After her sip, she told me I could order the next flight of six because she was going to finish the Golden Delicious. It’s slightly dry, very bubbly and very light. Expect for the ABV which they had listed as 10.0% at the bar even though it says 9.3% on their site. This one was hands down my favorite of the first six beers.
– Coming in Part II, the other six beers that were on tap. – Kevin