During the dog days of summer, I’m always looking for strong beers that go down well when it’s hot out. I recently tried the new offering from New Belgium, Super Cru.
Super Cru is a strong Belgian ale that was formulated with the same malts as their flagship beer, Fat Tire, but double the quantity. It also included Asian pear juice to strengthen it even more and to lighten the body.
Initially, it had a very fruity aroma. With each sip, it slightly tasted like Fat Tire, but the Asian pear juice did lighten it up. The pear juice was very forward in the flavor, and it changed the complexity of the beer. It was a good Belgian strong ale that was light enough to enjoy during the sweltering summer months.
The last few weeks, I have been traveling around, going out to New Jersey then down to Saint Louis. Because we drove to each place, it gave me the opportunity to bring back some beer not available in Iowa, such as some from Oskar Blues, Avery, and Schlafly.
One of the beers I brought back from Saint Louis was Schlafly’s Biere de Garde. I’ve had many different saison farmhouse ales, but this is one of the only biere de gardes I’ve had. Without trying to sound too simple, saisons tend to be a bit lower in alcohol with a bit more hop flavor.
This beer was a very nice farmhouse ale. It smelled very fruity with a bit of Belgian funkiness. The flavor had a nice malty backbone with just a little but of hop flavor. This was a great find, and I’m glad I had the chance to try one.
Have you had the Schlafly Biere de Garde? What did you think?
Another beer that is new to Iowa this year is New Belgium Brewing La Folie. I had a chance to have some of this the other day.
All I can say is “Wow”. It started off with an extreme sour punch, then the finish left a nice sweetness. My recommendation is to make sure you have more than just one drink, and it definitely becomes less intense. It is a great beer that is very complex.
Have you tried La Folie? Can you put the complex taste into words? Tell me what you think!
A week ago, my wife and I met up with some family in Florida. Specifically, we went to Fort Myers Beach.
While there, in addition to hanging out at the hotel tiki bar, we checked out the local night life, and sampled some of the local beer. Several places had house beers, including the Smokin’ Oyster Brewery, the Yucatan Beach Stand, and The Beached Whale. Each house beer was a different interpretation of a red. The favorite was the Yucatan red, because it was more smooth,and was similar to a lager. A close second in our group was the Beached Whale Ale, another red, but with more ale-like qualities.
Also while we were there, I had a chance to sample Guava Grove, the farmhouse ale from Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida. Because of the added guava, it was a bit sweeter than most saisons, but it had a very nice hop flavor and aroma. It was a good saison and worth a sample.
It was a great trip, and we enjoyed a lot of good beer. Have you had the local beers at Fort Myers Beach? What was your favorite?
It poured very dark, and was a sweet smelling stout with a hint of a chocolate aroma. Immediately I could taste the dark malts with a chocolate flavor, and there was a bit of flavor from the Belgian yeast. It had slight flavor notes of figs or prunes. There was very little alcohol warming, even though the beer was listed at 10 percent. The body was lighter than I thought it would be at that strength, but it balanced it out quite nicely. It was a great beer, and should be found across Iowa now.
Have you had the Peace Tree Imperial Stout? What was your take?
A few days ago I had the chance to sample one of the new sour beers from New Belgium, Le Terroir. It is a dry-hopped (with peach/mango flavored Amarillo hops) sour ale that changes from batch to batch (sounds like homebrewing).
The beer had a nice citrus aroma, similar to a grapefruit or a lime. The taste had a hint of sour on the front of the tongue that became more pronounced toward the back of the tongue. It left a nice refreshing finish with a bit of lingering sweetness. The beer reminded me of grapefruit juice, and I thought there was a nice amount of sourness without being too overwhelming. I enjoyed this beer very much.