If you haven’t figured this out by now from reading this blog, I try hard to have local food and beer from where ever a particular wrestling event happens to be held. I have done a poor job of reflecting that on the site proper while still broadcasting it on social media. Let’s get around to rectifying this problem.
Chris & I made our first stop at Pollyanna Brewing in Roselare IL because if you weren’t aware of this, All In took place in Schaumburg IL, aka a suburb of Chicago, so we hit the breweries in suburbs. I wasn’t about to drive an hour just for beer.
I have two things I do when I go to a new brewery. One is to make sure to order at least one beer from the Flagship Beers, because the brewery has made them the most and then should have perfected their taste. I also make sure to drink from lowest IBU to highest IBU. Hops can really wreck your palate so it’s best to get heavy doses of those later in the drinking phase.
With that in mind, Mazzie, their American Pale Ale, was more choice for a flagship beer. I went seasonal after that with their Blackberry Allure, Fruhauf, Raspberry Fun Size and Slanted.
I started with the Blackberry Allure, Berliner Weisse which is a sour beer. This style works for me for either a start or a finish. Sour beers cleanse the palate if it indeed has been wrecked by a pile of hops. I decided to start with it though. It made things start off on the right foot especially at 4.6% ABV to help keep the amount of alcohol low for what was intended to be a long night of drinking. The blackberry flavor really came through and matches well with the sourness of the beer.
Second up was the Fruhauf which is their Oktoberfest. It won the 2016 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal. It had a smokiness to it that most Fest beers don’t have. It was also light on sweetness too considering this is a malty beer. At the end of the weekend, it was my third favorite Fest beer but it was still good.
Raspberry Fun Size was up next and it was my favorite of the flight. Dark beers, porters and stouts, to me also work as a palate cleanser because the roasted malts that bring a different kind of bitterness than the hops do to a beer. The bitterness was hidden in this one though since it’s a milk stout which brings extra sweetness to the beverage. It certainly helps highlight a massive raspberry flavor. I’m not sure I’ve had a beer taste this raspberry-y before. I knew The Wife would love it so I bought a pint in a bottle.
Next up was the Flagship Mazzie. Breweries seem to be leaning towards going more citrus, less bitter in their pale ales. It certainly does help that pale ales tend to go no higher than 60 IBU which has always been better to my palate. This one clocks in at 45 IBU so it’s perfect for me. The citrus edge is certainly noticeable on this one too.
Last on the list was Slanted which is a New England Style IPA. I found this beer interesting because it had lactose in it. It’s a normal ingredient in a beer like Raspberry Fun Size but not so much for an IPA. Much like their pale ale, this one was brimming with citrus flavor which is a hallmark of this style. It was also quite hazy which is another staple of this style. – Kevin DiFrango