This week on #TappedIn, I got a chance to interview Matt Hall from Lift Bridge Brewing Company from Stillwater. They make some delicious brews but I was particularly interested to talk to him about their decision to make a beer that tasted like mini donuts. The mini donut brew was delicious and did taste exactly like it should. Sometimes crazy flavors work…sometimes they don’t. I just appreciate that brewers are willing to take those chances because when they hit, they are often home runs. If it fails then it fails and it is not a big loss. So I want to say thank you to all those breweries out there who continue to try stuff for the hell of it. You are truly the Real Men of Genius.
I managed to get through this week’s podcast despite battling some hardcore allergies. In fact both of my co-hosts on the Blitzed Podcast have each also been battling various bugs the last few weeks. It is because of this that I have decided to help improve our health with the addition of some fruit to our diets. That is right folks in honor of crazy flavor beers tonight I will be drinking beers brewed with fruit or fruit flavor. I figure fruit helped the pirates ward off the scurvy, so hopefully fruit beer will help ward off whatever is ailing us. Plus pirates are cool and so is not being sick.
Plum Noir from Southern Tier Brewing Company out of Lakewood, NY.
Served: Served from the bottle at just over refrigerator temp into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Coal black with a thin tan head that holds.
Smell: Roasted malt, coffee, and a little grape are the aromas that I pick up right away.
Taste: As dark as it is I am getting the flavor of the fruit but not the roast malt. The fruit flavors I’d describe as fig or raisin, although I could see how this could be considered a plum flavor. There is also a hint of vanilla and a little tartness.
Mouth feel: Ridiculously light and smooth for something this dark. I find this going down way too quickly without much aftertaste. There is a fair amount of carbonation however that is sharpening the tartness on the front of my tongue a bit.
Overall: I think I preferred this when I had it on draft a few months back, but then again I am remembering it having a slightly thicker body. The fruit is mellow, light, and refreshing. Either way I’m glad I have one more bottle of this cellaring for this winter.
Tres Blueberry from Dark Horse Brewing Company out of Marshall, MI.
Served: Served from the bottle at a little above refrigerator temperature into a snifter glass.
Appearance: Completely black, no head, no lacing, nothing but black.
Smell: Blueberry and lots of it. That is what I smell, nothing more, nothing less.
Taste: Tart juicy blueberry and chocolate combine to make this one pure bottle of deliciousness.
Mouth feel: Much like the previous beer this one seems a lot lighter bodied than I remember it being the last time I had it. The blueberry flavor lingers in the aftertaste on the top of my palate.
Overall: It doesn’t get much better than this. Tart, fruity, and delicious, I could drink a lot of this. Thank goodness I have quite a bit in storage from last holiday season. For the rest of you, it will be back out this holiday season and it is worth the investment.
Marion berry Braggot from Rogue Farms out of Newport, OR.
Served: Poured from a bomber into pint glass at a little colder than refrigerator temperature.
Appearance: Dark brown with a thin ring of tan bubbles.
Smell: reminds me of a Belgian dark or even a Dunkelweizen. The aroma is mildly spicy and you can definitely smell both the honey and the berries.
Taste: I’m not super familiar with the flavor of the marionberry, but this reminds me a lot of a blackberry and almost has a hint of that same tart cherry/grape/plum that was found in the Plum Noir. The honey is also clearly present and so is a bit of brown sugar or molasses.
Mouth feel: I get sweet and tart but neither is cloying. A lot of Braggot beers are too sweet and sticky, and while this one is definitely honey forward it is not too sweet. In fact, I have very little aftertaste and it is not as heavy as I thought it might be when I poured it.
Overall: Braggot is my favorite style of beer and unfortunately it is one of the least common styles available. Whenever I find one I jump on it and look forward to indulging it. This beer was a sight for sore eyes when I found it on the shelf at the local liquor purveyor. Now it is going to be a sight for sore memories as I anxiously wait the next time I find it. Why oh why didn’t I buy a second one of this?