Sippy Time Beer Review: Roundabout Brewery

Picture by Kevin DiFrango

Picture by Kevin DiFrango

A few weeks ago, I went to Pittsburgh to celebrate my (second) bachelor party. We stopped in at four breweries to imbibe beverages. There were more breweries to visit in the city of my birth but we had to narrow it down for time reasons. Roundabout Brewery, Draai Laag Brewing Company, Grist House Brewing and Church Brew Works were the closest together. The later will not get a post because I have reviewed their beers previously. Roundabout was the first stop on the list because of my friend Linda’s review of their Ginga Wheat Beer. Here’s the flight that I tried at that fine establishment.

Polish Hills Pilsner – I’ve been typing for a while now that even craft brewers are having a hard time making me like pilsners not just the big boys. Roundabout didn’t change my mind on that either. It was a decent enough beer but it’s not going to get another drink from me. Even though it has a snazzy name. (Top of the Tray)

Mosaic Saison – Their website isn’t a sight to behold so I have to go off the printed paper they gave me which is in the middle of the tray. Saison’s usually don’t have the words “pale ale” attached to them as they aren’t particularly hoppy. They also only used Mosaic hops which helps to limit the types of flavors emanating from hops. Mosaic happens to be mixed hops with a strong background from Simcoe hops. Even though this one is described as such, the Belgian portion of the description helped to counter balance the bitterness. That Belgian yeast will get you every time. This one was very tasty and a great summer beer. (Front Left of the Tray)

Black Possum – I believe two out of the three black lagers I have tasted are smoked. This one is not smoked so it has a cleaner flavor than the smoked ones. I dig the straight ahead simplicity of this beer. The roasted malt helps to give it a different malt flavor than most lagers. It also allows you to toss in some extra hops though they weren’t readily apparent in this beverage. This beer has every day beer written all over it in a very good and tasty way. (Front Right of the Tray)

Red/Black Berliner Weisse – They have a Berliner Weisse on the menu but this one got my attention because it used local red and blackberries in it. The red certainly dominated the hue of this beverage. The sour beers continue to grow on me and this one is no exception. It has just the right amount of sour augmented by the tartness of the berries which bring in their own distinct flavor. Hops and malt take a back seat to the souring process in all of these beers even though they’re in there. Very good beverage if you don’t mind going sour. (Middle Right in case you were confused as to which beer was red.)

Pacific Ring IPA – My younger brother has a problem and they’re called IPAs. This beverage was their only IPA on tap when we arrived. (Roundabout has new beverages every three to four weeks so one never knows what you’ll get on tap.) This beer happens to be one of the few written about on their site to help provide some guidance. It lived up to it’s description with a nice hazy straw color to the beer along with some fantastic fruitiness that was off set with just the right amount of bitterness. This beer also enters into the “trouble” department as it is exceedingly drinkable with a 7.2% ABV. I’m glad I only had a taste of this one as it could have led to a rough, rough day had I gone high ABV to start the day.

Ginga Wheat – I didn’t save this beer for last because my friend Linda had it on her list for five favorite beers of 2014. I put it last because I tried it last. Why is that you ask? Because my father, whom I hadn’t seen drink a beer prior to two years ago, decided to down this part of the flight while I helped acquire Ken money. (That’s a story for OHPA.) So before we left the establishment, I got an extra pint of Ginga Wheat. While I have heaped praise on their other beers, this one is absolutely awesome. It is very gingery but not to the point of being turned off. The ginger is highlighted with just a touch of lemon. It is also subdued just enough by some honey sweetness. It has that nice wheaty lightness to it. This beer could be the perfect summer beer. Linda, thank you for recommending this brewery. – Kevin


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