Hop Growing Update

posted on August 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm by Ken Valley in Homebrewing

Tettenang Hop Vine

Tettenang Hop Vine

Cones on the Vine

Cones on the Vine

Since I last posted about growing hops, the Tettenang hops continued to flourish.  There were enough ripe cones that this past weekend, I brewed a German Fresh Hop Ale (Harvest Ale) using 2.5 oz of fresh Tettenang hops, picked off the vine Saturday morning.  It should be ready within the next couple of weeks, and I’m excited to try it!

Did you grow hops this year?  What was your result?

New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red

posted on August 25, 2010 at 11:03 pm by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red

New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red

If you remember from our trip to New Glarus Brewing Co., I had a pint of the Wisconsin Belgian Red, and was excited to take one of the bottles home to enjoy it later.  This beer has won several awards for New Glarus, including several Gold Medals at the Great American Beer Festival.

The other day, a couple friends and I cracked open the bottles of Wisconsin Belgian Red we had brought home.

First, the review: initially, it smells strongly like cherries.  The taste is a full cherry flavor. It continues with the cherry flavor.  It is a great beer, and, dare I say it, it almost was too intense. It left a great cherry flavor in my mouth.

Chocolate Cherry Layered Awesomeness

Chocolate Cherry Layered Awesomeness

After we enjoyed a bottle of the Wisconsin Belgian Red, we decided to try something new: a layered chocolate-cherry beer.  As you can see in the photo, we used my favorite beer, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (the can that has the Nitrogen releasing widget inside).  It was a hit!

The smooth chocolate flavor played very well with the strong cherry flavor, and the entire layered drink was great!  I had previously tried a different chocolate-cherry layered beer with Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat with the Double Chocolate Stout, but the use of the Belgian Red was a great choice.

Have you had the Wisconsin Belgian Red?  What was your take on this flavorful beer?

New Glarus Raspberry Tart

posted on August 23, 2010 at 9:09 am by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

New Glarus Raspberry Tart

New Glarus Raspberry Tart

From our trip to New Glarus Brewing Co., I brought back a couple of the special beers, including the Raspberry Tart.  I had the Wisconsin Belgian Red at the brewery, and if this was anything like that, I would be in for a treat.

Initially, the raspberry smell is very intense.  With the first taste, it overwhelms you with raspberry flavor.  It tastes a bit sour then finishes with a strong, sweet raspberry flavor.  It was like a blend between a beer and raspberry wine.

It was a great beer!  If only they distributed around here…

Have you had the Raspberry Tart?  What was your experience?

Lindemans Faro Lambic

posted on August 19, 2010 at 2:43 pm by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Lindemans Faro Lambic

Lindemans Faro Lambic

Last night, I had the chance to sample Lindemans Faro Lambic. Compared to the Lindemans Cuvee Rene Gueuze, this Lambic has a nice sweet attribute, due to the addition of candy sugar to the finished beer.

The beer smelled sweet with a hint of a sour, lemony scent. With the first taste, it started tart, and then, toward the back of the tongue it turned into a sweet flavor.  It left a taste of molasses or brown sugar in my mouth.  I loved the sour and sweet dynamic of the beer, much more than the overpowering sour flavor of the Cuvee Rene Gueuze.

I have no doubt I will purchase the Faro again.  Have you tried the Faro?  What was your experience?

New Glarus Enigma

posted on August 17, 2010 at 10:22 pm by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

New Glarus Enigma

New Glarus Enigma

Continuing with the current sour beer trend, along with my trip to New Glarus Brewing, I picked up a four pack of Enigma, from the Unplugged series.

Technically, it is a sour brown ale, similar to the Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale.  It started with a tart flavor, and finished sour.  It leaves a slight caramel flavor aftertaste.

It was a great sour beer with limited availability, so get yours soon!

Have you tried Enigma?  What was your impression?

Lindemans Cuvee Rene Gueuze

posted on August 11, 2010 at 10:29 pm by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Lindemans Cuvee Rene Gueuze

Lindemans Cuvee Rene Gueuze

The next sour beer I tried was the Lindemans Cuvee Rene Gueuze.  A gueuze is a blend of a new lambic (around 1 year old), and an old lambic (2-3 years old).

At first, it smelled of a combination of citrus and horse hair or a horse blanket, the way a wild yeast tends to smell.  With the first taste, it is pretty sour, lemony, and is very carbonated.  The gueuze started tart and ended tart.  It’s a great beer, especially if you like sour beer.

Have you tried the Lindemans Cuvee Rene Gueuze?

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