As I keep mentioning, things are pretty stressful right now with everything we have going on. Both my wife and I really needed a beer, so we headed to Firehouse Pizza Pub in Normal. They usually have some pretty good beers on tap, and their NY style pizza is decent (avoid their normal pizza, as the sauce is super sweet).
Location: On tap and served in a tumbler style pint glass at Firehouse Pizza Pub in Normal.
Numbers: 9% ABV, ~270 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s the color of a dark copper-brown penny, and is very hazy. When it arrived at the table, there was no head – not even a complete ring around the edge of the glass. The aroma was caramel malty with some toffee notes.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium to full with a lightly crisp mouthfeel. The flavors up front were caramel maltiness with some dark bready flavors mixed in. A little bit of bitterness comes in during the middle, becoming a bigger earthy-citrusy hop bitterness in the finish. The bitterness covers alcohol, which is detectable in the background. The bitterness lasts for a minute or so in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This beer went OK with our pizza, but with the caramel and bready flavors up front and the earthy-citrusy hop flavors and bitterness on the back, I think it would pair nicely with a thick, juicy, pepperjack cheeseburger.
Overall Impression: This beer had an interesting mix of flavors, with caramel and bready malt flavors up front and earthy-citrusy hop flavors and bitterness on the end. The transition worked OK, but I think this beer could have been helped a lot with some more creamy head and carbonation. Overall, it had an interesting mix of flavors, but they didn’t quite hit the mark for me. It was still a good, above average beer, but the combination of the caramel and citrus just didn’t quite mesh for me.