Posts Tagged ‘roggenbier’

Phoenix – Day 1: Serendipity

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

I went to Phoenix with the dad and broski for spring break. Now, this isn’t a baseball blog so over the next few posts I’ll extract only the parts of the trip relevant to beer.

Loser's punishment

Loser's punishment

One of the first things I did when arriving was post to Twitter about the beautiful weather. Now, the beer gods were with me that I mentioned Phoenix by name, because olllllo, the Beer Hack(er) (and sometime contributor to beerporn) saw it. He quickly messaged, inviting me to an annual event at his home at the base of South Mountain which was just by chance happening that very evening. So after the watching the Cubs lose and the Suns win I made my way to his place.

Shaq and Steve Nash shooting...

Shaq and Steve Nash shooting...

Okay, ‘event’ is the wrong word. Olllllo had five homebrews on tap and three brewing friends had brought two or three beers each, so there were at least 50 gallons flowing. Also olllllo was opening bottle after bottle from his cellar. It was a party.

I wish I had had more time for tasting: I was only able to sample a few of the beers. From a man that looked suspiciously like Sam Elliot I tasted a pale ale made with summit and simcoe hops, with a big rich herbal and fruity nose. A guy whose real name was Bill but who everybody just called ‘Wild’ had two selections. First was a pedestrian roggenbier. Late in the evening he brought out his reserve keg: three gallons of bourbon porter that he’s been aging over a year on oak. It was smooth, yet rough. It was balanced, yet intense. It was fantastic. I had to find out how he got the ratio so perfect. “I had a half a fifth left and I wasn’t going to drink it, so I just threw it in.” This guy is my kind of brewer.

Me and olllllo and his kegerator

Me and olllllo and his kegerator

Ollllo himself had a few interesting selections. I had what he refers to as his “Meheeco Vienna Lager”. What can I say, it was authentic. He also had a perry (that’s pear cider for the unenlightened) that wasn’t half bad. The star of his lineup, however, was labelled simply “Centennial IPA”. While drinking the first glass of this I failed to take proper stock of the aroma, or notice that centennial is (at least according to teh internets) the principal hop in Two Hearted Ale from Bell’s, a beer you should know I love. For the lazy, my description was that “[t]he hop aroma is strong enough that you don’t even need to lean in.” After being directly informed of the attempt at cloning, I was blown away. While he can still work on the flavor a bit, ollllo’s version has exactly the nose of Two Hearted. Man I wish I could brew like that.

More southwest updates to come…

Goose Island Mild Winter

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Goose Island released their Mild Winter ale almost a week ago, so I figured it was time for me to try it. (Truth be told I’ve already had three…) They put a hefty measure of rye in this one, as well as roast barley and crystal malt, giving it a complex malt character.

If I’m not mistaken, Mild Winter (like the forthcoming Imperial Brown Goose) is a regular seasonal at the Clybourn brewpub location that has been promoted to distribution. Greg Hall, the Goose Island Brewmaster, calls it an American Mild, backing up the name by saying brewing with rye makes it more American, a strange claim as roggenbier (German for ‘rye beer’) is an old German style.

Mild Winter pours a brilliant rust with a redness bordering on purple. The head is a creamy straw, but doesn’t last long. The nose is subtle and spicy. A floral spiciness, something like potpourri, is followed by an almost grassy note. There is just a hint of fruit.

The taste is predominantly rye, which has a paradoxically fruity spiciness. There is something of a hop herbal flavor as well as a noticeable but not invasive hop bitterness. As the spiciness fades more malt flavors come through: biscuits and a light caramel sweetness. The palate is quite lively, and the light sweetness, slight bitterness, and spiciness balance quite well. A well executed mild ale.

By the way, I have no idea what Bull means by the comparison to Wayne Brady. That he is mild? I guess almost anyone seems mild next to Dave Chapelle, just as almost any beer seems mild next to lots of offerings from American micros.

+Goose Island Mild Winter

RateBeer: 3.6 (2-8-7-4-15)