Sunday, April 29, 2012

Uinta HooDoo Kolsch Style Ale

Since I’m on a springtime “light” craft beer kick, how about a Kolsch? I love a good Kolsch. I love saying the word “Kolsch”. And the venerable Salt Lake City microbrewery Uinta makes one of the best Kolsches I’ve had in recent years. Seriously, this is what a “light beer” should taste like! Refreshing, lightly hopped (25 IBUs), and full of grainy/bready/biscuity notes, HooDoo is nothing fancy. But that’s the point! Hardcore beer snobs will probably say stuff like, “It’s fine for what it is.” Fair enough, but it’s more than just “fine”. It’s outstanding. What I love about a Uinta beer is that it’s always top-notch and always fresh. Maybe I’m crazy, but I swear there’s something in the water out there. You couldn’t brew a beer that tastes like a Uinta in, say, Hoboken. HooDoo, amongst the Uinta roster, is one of my favorites. Forget the backhanded compliments. This is a great beer, period. One of my big “things” as a beer guy is that I like to see what breweries can do with the simpler styles. Sure, it’s nice to concoct a “big” beer. I know the double IPAs and Belgian tripels get all the glory. But in my book it takes just as much skill and sensibility to brew up a basic style and make it really good. No wonder Uinta has been in business for almost 20 years. They can do it all. Their HooDoo is an A-caliber Kolsch. It’s got a touch of sweetness, a touch of bitterness, and a crisp, dry finish. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes beer, even if you don’t ordinarily don’t go for craft beer. It’s a great lawn mowing beer, a great pizza and burgers beer, and a great bullshit with your friends all night beer. It makes my short-list of go-to light-colored beers. And trust me, that short-list is a very short list.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tröegs DreamWeaver Wheat Ale

My first review in weeks, and I'm writing about a measly Hefeweizen? God, I'm a lousy beer geek! Call me nuts, but if we're talking Tröegs, I actually find the DreamWeaver more to my liking than the much-ballyhooed Nugget Nectar. I don't know. Perhaps I'm just in the mood for a warm weather brew. "Light" not just in color but in all the other ways that matter (15 IBUS, ABV 4.8 percent), this is a wheat ale to be quaffed. And quaff it I do! Combining four wheat types with Munich and Pils malts and noble Saaz hops, DreamWeaver is no run-of-the-mill Hefeweizen. After all, we are talking a Tröegs ale. So you know you're getting top-notch quality. The yeast strain they use adds notes of banana and clove, and this added dimension of flavor complements the usual crispness that is par for the course with a wheat ale. In short, this beer is just really, really good. The taste is clean and spicy in all the best ways. I've not managed to drink one of these without draining my glass well before I finished my meal. This is not a "sipper". It goes down easy and begs to bought and consumed in large quantities. Backyard barbeques and pool parties are just around the corner. Don't be cruel and stick your friends and family with Blue Moon. Have some class! Why settle for a wheat beer that's refreshing but average when you could drink one that's refreshing and delicious? Yes! Yes! You know I'm right! Tröegs rules as always.