Peace Tree Brewing

Knoxville, Iowa recently welcomed a brand new brewery, Peace Tree Brewing.  This brewery started production within the past few months, and had a Grand Opening on March 19, 2010.  From their website, the brewery bottles three types of beer, although they create other types to be served in their taproom:

Red Rambler: This ale is brewed with the finest quality pale, caramel, and lightly roasted malts. This complex combination of malts, contribute to the deep red color and malty flavor. This is balanced with the flavor, bitterness and aromas of three varieties of hops. The IBU’s are around 35. Top fermenting ale yeast is added to create this well rounded beer.

Hop Wrangler: Joe’s multinational take on a classic IPA. IPA’s are known for their intense hop bitterness, flavor and aromas. First, Joe used American and English malt, then American and English hops are added during the mash, first wort, boil, and finally it’s dry hopped for aroma. Belgium gets involved with the yeast and a special candy sugar finish for smoothness and flavor.

Rye Porter: High quality pale, caramel, chocolate and Munich malts get a boost with roasted and chocolate rye. Dark and Light Belgian Candy Sugar is added to the kettle during the boil for smoothness and flavor. Belgian yeast gives off some fruity esters and the brew is delicately hopped so as to not overpower the malt flavors.

I look forward to trying the quality beer Peace Tree distributes, and look forward to additional offerings.  Luckily, we get a chance right away by visiting Short’s Burger & Shine in Iowa City, who is now serving the Hop Wrangler IPA.

Have you tried any Peace Tree offerings yet?  Let us know what you think!

Court Avenue Brewing Company 21st Amendment Ale

21st Amendment Ale
21st Amendment Ale

Over the weekend I had the chance to sample the 21st Amendment Ale by Court Avenue Brewing Company (CABCO).  This ale is a rye pale ale, aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels.

Right off the bat, the 21st Amendment Ale smells of caramel and a bit like whiskey.  The taste has less bitterness than I would expect from a rye pale ale, but since it has been aging in whiskey barrels for a while, it’s not surprising because hop bitterness decreases over time.  It has a slight whiskey flavor, and because of the rye, has a nice, crisp finish. The aftertaste leaves a bit of a sweet, whiskey-like flavor, but not so much that you think you are drinking straight-up whiskey.

It was a very flavorful ale that was perfect for my after-dinner drink.

Let me know if you’ve had CABCO’s 21st Amendment Ale, and what you thought.

Dogfish Head Festina Peche

Festina Peche
Festina Peche

If you are looking for an unusual taste, Festina Peche (pronounced pesh-ay) by Dogfish Head of Milton, Deleware might be your beer.  It is based on the Berliner Weisse style, which used to be fairly prominent in Germany, particularly Berlin, but sadly, today there are just a handful of these breweries left.

Festina Peche is a wheat beer that has strong sour “tang” to it.  During the process of fermentation, peaches are added to give the beer a slight peach flavor, and make the beer more complex.  This contrasts from a standard Berliner Weisse, where a sweet syrup, usually raspberry or woodruff, were added to the beer at serving time, instead of during the brewing process.  Like a Berliner Weisse, Festina Peche is a true session beer, measuring in at only 4.5% ABV.

Based on my tasting, the beer was indeed sour, very little bitterness (if any), and didn’t have much hint of peach.  I thoroughly enjoyed the beer, and it was very tasty. It finished clean, and left a spectacular sour taste.  It would be nice and refreshing on a hot summer day.

Have you tried Festina Peche or a Berliner Weisse?

Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter

Black Butte Porter
Black Butte Porter

I recently had the pleasure of sampling the Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon.  The Black Butte Porter is the flagship beer of the brewery, and after tasting, I can understand why.

It was a nice, smooth, rich porter with a nice chocolate flavor.  There are usually two types of porters found in America: those that have a lot of hops, and those that don’t.  The Black Butte is the latter, making it a delightful beer with low bitterness and smooth chocolaty goodness that I could see myself enjoying many of.

Have you tried Deschute’s Black Butte Porter?  What did you think?

Michelob Irish Red

Michelob Irish Red
Michelob Irish Red

Yesterday, I had a chance to sample Michelob Irish Red. The bottle shape and label were done nicely and caught my eye. The pour of the beer into a glass displayed a nice copper color you would expect in an Irish Red, and had a tan head that dissolved into the glass quickly.

The first sniff was a sweet malty aroma, but not one that really excited me.   There were similar smells to other Anheuser-Busch products.  Mouth feel was surprisingly full, but taste was sub-par by my standards. The hop to malt balance in the flavor was good, but there was the same stale sweetness picked up in the initial smell, maybe due to the yeast used in the fermentation process. The taste finished fairly clean, but did hold on for a little while.

I would recommend this beer if you like inexpensive Anheuser-Busch products, because that is what it is. Definitely a drinkable beer for the money, but personally, I would pay the extra money to get a Samuel Adams Irish Red or even a good ol’ Killian’s Irish Red Lager.

Have you tried the Michelob Irish Red?  What did you think?