After doing the Round Table of Drunks posts, I felt the need to try and continue to post beer reviews. I have done a poor job of doing so far this year. But a late post is better than a post that never happens. I visited a number of the newer breweries in Columbus while trying to complete the Columbus Ale Trail so I have plenty of choices in my arsenal. I’ll have a few more to add to the list when the new Ale Trail book comes out on May 12th.
I had yet to visit Ill Mannered Brewing which is located in Powell, just north of Columbus. They were a “Coming Soon” brewery when I had the ’15/16 edition of the Ale Trail in book and I had delayed my visit long enough on this version that people were already sporting “1 Year Anniversary” t shirts. I ended up trying 7 of the 8 beers on tap. Here’s what I thought –
Ill Manna Slamma – As usual, I start my tastings off with as low an IBU as possible and a blonde ale is about as low as they get in that department. This one happens to be 17 IBU and nary a hop taste to be found. It has a nice golden color and goes down smooth. I have slowed in my love for blondes in general but this one was on point with others around town. Coming in at 4.8% ABV makes this beer a good one for a long day of drinking.
Malt Tank – Though this beer is barely lower in IBU than Ill Manna Slamma at 15, I saved it for second because I knew the sweetness of the malt would give it more pop than a blonde ale. I was correct. It was an easy drink without anything too special standing out for it. I could almost re-write the last two sentences of Ill Manna here too since this beer barely higher in the ABV department at 5.0%.
Stoic Pine – This beer is not available at this time since it’s a Winter Ale. It was next up on my drinking list despite a big jump in IBU to 66. It didn’t taste as hoppy as the number would indicate though. The answer to why is either in the Belgian yeast or the style of hop used to create the beer. Hops with lower alpha acids (AA) are not as bitter or don’t normally have a strong floral taste to them as the hops with higher AA. I don’t know the answer since they don’t list their ingredients but my bet is on the hops or else I wouldn’t have explained that. Not only was it a jump in IBU, it was a jump in ABV too coming in at 7.1% ABV. Very good winter ale that doesn’t have the normal spice mixture (cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, ginger or some variation of those 4). It was my third favorite of the trip.
Fat Bottomed Girl – I make some exceptions for by low to high IBU as with this beer and the next. This one gets oddball treatment because it is a dark beer, which throws my palette off. This one isn’t terribly dark as it a Belgian Strong Ale which I find aren’t as roasted as a porter or stout. This style of beer is one I do favor and this one wasn’t an exception as it was my favorite of the night. To get back to the IBU talk, it comes in at 38 IBU so it certainly would fall between the Slamma & Pine. It does come in at the top of the scale for ABV at 9.4%. I could get in real trouble with this one. But like the Stoic Pine, I’m going to have to wait a few months until I have this beer again.
Somewhere along the line, I lost a beer. Or more likely, I got to talking and forgot to punch it into Untappd. I’m pretty sure it was in the top pictured flight that has a beer missing.
Psuedo Insubordination – As an exception, sour beers for obvious reasons, right? I do find them to be a good transition beer though as the sour flavor helps to clean the palette because none of the other beers taste like that. The IBU count is super low at 13 as it almost always is and it really doesn’t factor into the taste much. Sour beers are almost all low in ABV too. This one comes in at 4.3% so it fits the bill. Though not the best sour I’ve had, definitely in the top half.
Argue The Toss – I wasn’t sure if we were going to stay long enough to get all 8 of the beers they had available. If I had known that ahead of time, this Golden Ale would have been in my first flight. It has a low ABV tab of 26. It is another on Ill Mannered’s list that would qualify for a “Session” beer with an ABV of 4.4%. It was solid for that purpose but didn’t really reach out and grab me.
Hopracha – I saved the big IBU for last, though at 69, it wouldn’t come close to qualifying for the hoppiest beer I’ve consumed. Those IBU are well used with a light malt flavor that helps to bring out the hop-ness. Look at the picture above and one can see how close in color it is compared to the other two beers in my mini-flight. It looks similar to Argue the Toss, but with cloudiness that could come from a late hopping. I enjoyed the tropical fruit style hops they used so I ended the tasting with the second best beer of the lot of eight. Not a bad way to end a trip to a new(ish) brewery. – Kevin DiFrango