My dad is in town for the weekend, and we decided to go out to dinner with him tonight. We’d been to Firehouse Pizza Pub in Normal, IL once and I thought the pizza sauce was way too sweet. However, since they had some pretty good beers on tap, I thought I’d give it another chance. We had their New York style pizza and it was actually pretty good (less sauce). After hearing the beer selection, I decided to go for this one, since I was sure I hadn’t had it before.
Location: On tap and served in a small snifter glass at Firehouse Pizza Pub in Normal, IL.
Numbers: 5% ABV, ~150 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It was a dark rusty red color and was somewhat clear. There was almost no head on it, just a very thin, creamy ring around the edge of the glass. There was a good malty aroma with a bit of funkiness.
Taste & Feel: The body was full and the mouthfeel was pretty smooth. There was a nice caramel malt flavor up front with a bit of bitter funkiness. In the middle, the bitterness grew quite a bit, and was joined by some tart flavors. The finish was an interesting mix of an earthy-citrusy tartness and bitterness, which lasted briefly in the finish.
Food Pairing: This beer had a big range of flavors, from caramel to citrus to tartness, and the pizza we had helped to tame the beer a bit. I think it could also go nicely with a burger or other hearty food that cuts through all these flavors in the beer.
Overall Impression: I think I was expecting a big malty red beer, and there was some caramel up front, but there were a lot of other flavors. The funkiness and tartness wasn’t totally unexpected, but the big earthy-citrus hop bitterness in the finish made for an interesting mix of flavors. It was very complex and interesting, and the flavors certainly weren’t off-putting, but it wasn’t necessarily a mix of flavors I’d put together again. Overall, it was OK, but is not really my flavor.