Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Beer Bracket 2013- The Sweet 16

After the first weekend of play, there have been some major upsets and surprises. Below are the beers that made it through, and my thoughts on them.

(1) Boulevard Bully Porter- the dark roasted flavors make this porter no little brother to Tank 7. A beer to keep your taste buds on key.
(12) Anchor Porter- not to be out done by the Boulevard, this beer is often forgotten when placed next to Anchor Steam, but alas, it is a classic example of a perfect porter.

(3) Evolution Lot 6- this is a big beer with big hops. New on the scene when compared to Nugget Nectar, HopSlam and others, Lot 6 will soon be on the list as a go to for many people.
(2) Sierra Nevada Bigfoot-a standard since 1983 (one year after I was born), this beer is a beast of a brew. Perfect to cap off a night, it is awesome fresh, better after a year in the cellar, and even better after 2. Plus it is at a price point that doesn't kill the wallet. ($55 a case)

(9) Evil Genius Good n Evil- American style Golden beer, comes light and refreshing. Makes me think of warm spring/summer days. Nice balance of malt and hops, not heavy on either.
(13) Goose Island Sofie- a saison fermented with wild yeast is always close to my heart. The different flavors leave my mouth watering just thinking about the beer.

(6) Weyerbacher Winter- this English Brown ale leaves everyone satisfied. Has a touch of hops to even out the strong malt backbone. Very easy to drink.
(2) Iron Hill Berliner Weisse- whether you drink it straight or drop some syrup into it, this beer doesn't disappoint. The lemon turns to sour apple, and remains light and refreshing. I prefer a touch of raspberry syrup, but also order it without.

(1) Troegs Nugget Nectar- a perennial #1 seed. The explosion of floral hops in your mouth leaves you wanting more. The malt keeps a strong presence, and the 7+% keeps you honest.
(4) Chimay White- classic Belgian Trappist triple.  Slight bitterness from the hops and the not too sweet malt keeps this balanced beer one to always have on hand.

(3) Burley Oak Pale Ryeder- a nice pale ale that has the zing of spiciness from rye.  Easy to drink and smooth going down.
(15) Duvel- another classic Belgian. This Strong Golden Ale is a delight on the palate. Nice sweetness is broken up by a slightly higher carbonation.

(1) Oskar Blues G'Night- an Imperial Red that is dangerously drinkable. hoppy 8.7% beer has a huge malt character, while still giving you a mouthful of hops.
(4) Great Divide Hoss- based on a Marzen, this lager adds rye to give it more character. Another easy drinking beer, this is perfect for spring picnics, summer poolsides, fall ball games, and next to the fire in winter.

(3) Flying Dog Raging Bitch- this Belgian IPA combines hops of an American IPA with the yeast of a nice Belgian- giving this beer wicked complexity. Instantly became one of my favorite beers from the first sip.
(2) Orval- the final beer in the bracket, and another sour. This beer should have its own style, as its unique taste lingers on, begging for you to get another bottle. Oh and the beautiful shaped bottle it comes in. I must try for any Belgian beer lover.

The Beer Bracket Sweet 16

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