Friend had a birthday, so I brought him over a beer tour that I thought would work for people who liked beer to any sort of depth. I think I was right, to an extent.
I write about this beer a lot, because it’s so easy. It’s a refreshing lighter farmhouse ale, so got a hint of the Belgian sweetness but also the dryness you get from the Brettanomyces in a Saison. Think pilsner, if you’ve never had a Saison, but a little more oomph. Only one little complaint: the bottle-conditioned Duponts sometimes get a little feisty when you open them. Especially the little ones. So it’s worth watching them when you first open them, or pouring them quickly.
This is a little more Belgian-y — after all it’s called a Belgian ale — but it still has the Brett in it, so it’s also a little dryer and a little different than most Belgian ales. That makes it a little more accessible for people, I think, and most liked this Chicago staple (one of only two beers on tap at Bayless’ restaurant? Is that true?). In any case, even though it’s American, I said this was one of my favorite Belgians because it was a little less Belgian than the Belgians. Makes sense?
This is a pumpkin ale by name, but not the most pumpkin-y of all the pumpkin beers I’ve tried so far. Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin was more pumpkin-y (even pumpkin-pie-y) than this one, and it’s get more pumpkin-y than that. Someone on twitter called a brown ale with a hint of spice to it, and that’s a good way of describing it. If you wanted the pumpkin hard core, you called it bland. If you didn’t even want a pumpkin beer to begin with, you breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed your beer. Three restrained but well-balanced beers in a row.
So maybe the beer tour took a veer towards the more serious here. Mongo is heavily hopped, and I think I lost a few tasters here. But I love IPAs, so I couldn’t resist, and I love this beer. Just not really restrained, at all.
I had to get one beer I didn’t know, and this was a black rye IPA, so it made sense to keep moving down the spectrum from light to dark. This was okay. I think it was a little malty for me, and when you get real thick without giving me the whole taste I get from a stout, you sometimes lose me. Maybe it was just a little sweet, but its a three-star beer that’s outclassed by beers like Wookie Jack black rye IPA from Firestone Walker.