It’s been a week since I’ve had a beer, since I came down with a cold, and tonight was the kids’ school indoor carnival. It’s 500 kids hopped up on candy and sugar running all over the school to play homemade carnival games with parents chasing behind. Needless to say, I needed a beer when I got home. Fortunately, this beer arrived in the mail a few days ago from my generous friend @BettyWriter who lives in Portland, Oregon. I greatly appreciate beers I can’t get around Illinois, and this definitely fits the bill. She’s always posting pictures of her Friday night beverages on social media with the phrase, “Happy Friday!” So, here’s to you Betty…Thank you, cheers and happy Friday!
Location: Poured from the 22oz bottle into a curved pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 6.2% ABV, 45 IBUs, ~160 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s a dark rusty red-brown color with brick red highlights and slightly hazy. There’s a good amount of carbonation in it, but the head is very thin, with a khaki colored, creamy texture. The aroma is mostly malty with some earthy hop aroma behind it.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium and the mouthfeel is somewhat crisp. The flavor up front is malty with a little bit of caramel, bready, and grainy sweetness. In the middle, these flavors are joined by some earthy bitterness. In the finish, the bitterness grows even more, and the caramel-grainy maltiness is matched by a spicy-earthy hop bitterness and flavor. These flavors last for a few minutes in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This beer has a good mix of malt and hops with malty caramel graininess and spicy-earthy bitterness. With this mix of flavors, I think it would make a good pairing with a hearty meal, such as chili or BBQ.
Overall Impression: This beer had a good amount of flavor, mixing caramel, grainy, somewhat bready malt flavors with a good dose of spicy-earthy hop bitterness. The hop flavor was a unique mix of flavors and bitterness, and the maltiness was somewhat more grainy than caramelly. Overall, it was a good beer that was different than other red ales I’ve had, which I assume is the interesting mix of Northwest hops.