As I mentioned in my last post, I’m in Columbia, MO – home of my alma mater, the University of Missouri – for a fraternity golf tournament. My friend Bill and I already stopped for some great burgers at Booches and a Stag beer. Avid readers of the blog know I usually hit up Flat Branch Pub & Brewery for a couple beers when I’m in Columbia, and this trip was no different. Bill and I met up with his girlfriend Kim and had a beer while waiting for a table to open up. I enjoy the caramel maltiness in “red beers” and this one looked unique, so I thought I’d give it a try.
Location: On tap and served in a nonic pint glass at Flat Branch Pub & Brewery in Columbia, MO.
Numbers: 5.2% ABV, 16 IBU, ~ 160 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s fairly clear (for a wheat beer), and dark reddish – almost brick red – in color. It has a big, foamy, cream-colored head that had some great retention. There was a very light bready, slightly caramel-malt aroma.
Taste & Feel: The body was somewhat light and smooth, with a bit of a creamy mouthfeel. There was a sweet, light caramel bready flavor up front, with a warmer, more caramel maltiness coming up in the middle. In the finish, some earthy bitterness came through, but was in the background behind the light, milk-caramel-like malt sweetness, which lasted briefly in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: At Flat Branch I ordered the chokes and cheese and the pretzel, and it went perfectly with this beer. The caramel-bready flavors in the beer complemented the pretzel nicely, and mixed nicely with the salty cheesiness of the chokes and cheese. If I would have been hungrier, I would have ordered the Flat Branch burger, which is a burger covered in the chokes and cheese, and would have been the perfect pairing at Flat Branch.
Overall Impression: This beer had just the right amount of caramel malt added, so it gave just the right amount of flavor, but didn’t add too much sweetness. I enjoyed the bready-caramel flavors a lot, as well as the bitterness in the finish. It was a somewhat unique style of beer, highlighting caramel maltiness, but remained light enough to be enjoyed on this warm evening. If you stop by Flat Branch and enjoy a burger or other bready meal, this beer would help make for an enjoyable experience.