Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Recent beer discoveries

Just a quick list with some thoughts...

Shooting Creek Farm Brewery — Brown, Red, Bitter, Amber
These guys just made it up to Richmond from the far corner of southwest Virginia. The beers are all unfiltered and hand-bottled at this point, and the craft shows in good and bad ways. There are some characteristics reminiscent of homebrew, and while the use of rye in the red and other alternative grains produces some interesting flavor profiles, only the brown really stood out to me. It had a nice, dry hoppiness and seemed a little more finished than the others. All in all, though, they've got a good start, and it will be interesting to see how they evolve.

Oerbier from De Dolle Brouwers, Belgium
Apparently, this beer is produced in 5 gallon batches and blended and aged. The result is a crazy complexity of flavor with oak, funk, caramel, malt, low bitterness, sour, like nine beers combined into one explosion of flavor. It was a random find at Kybecca, a small store with a fascinating selection in Fredericksburg, and I may have to seek out another bottle or two and see what some additional age does to the flavor profile.

Dieu du Ciel Rosée d'Hibiscus
Wheat beer brewed with hibiscus from a tiny brewery in Quebec. It is a beer for committed wine drinkers — delicate and dry like a perfect rosé.

Ommegang Zuur
A sour brown ale brewed with cherries. My beer guru An says this one is a little young. I'd have to agree. Nice sour notes, and a solid cherry presence — think cider, not maraschino. It made a nice afternoon quaff for my dad's birthday, but could really evolve with a little more time in the bottle.

When I get a chance, I'll do a rundown of some of this year's Octoberfests.