Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hofbräu München - Hofbräu Original

Crisp and Bitter.

Sometimes you just want a simple, good-tasting lager-style beer, so what could be better than this bottom-fermented Munich Helles Lager from the historic Hofbräu München itself? This pale-gold brew is nicely effervescent and pours with a wonderful thick head. To the nose, this beer has a fresh, grassy aroma tinged with malt. On the tongue it's hoppy-bitter but extremely crisp, like a cold slice of Granny Smith apple. The finish is smooth with just a hint of bitter lime peel. This is exactly what I was hoping for - everything I like about the German "Reinheitsgebot" beers in one refreshing glass! As The Barvarians say "oans, zwoa, g'suffa" - One, two, chug!
I'd serve this brew with herb-baked Rainbow Trout and steamed asparagus.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pike Brewing - "Heirloom Amber" Pale Ale

Creamy Smoke.

Another one from Pike Brewing, this time a Pale Ale. The "Heirloom Amber" tastes as redolent of character as its evocative name suggests. This brew pours a ruby amber with just a tad of lacy foam. The first flavor to assault the tongue is rich, smokey malt that's neither too sweet nor overbearing. This maltyness is balanced by the merest hint of rosemary provided by the idiosyncratic blend of Magnum, Willamette and East Kent Goldings hops. The finish is all cream with just a touch of burnt vanilla and hazelnut. Certainly not a run-of-the-mill amber but unique and very flavorful! I'd pair this up with mom's chicken and dumplings and some steamed, buttered broccoli.