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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Review of Hofbrau Original

For today’s craft beer review I thought we would “journey” back to Munich, Germany and sample the Hofbrau Original brewed by Staatliches Hofbrauhaus (Hofbrau Munchen).

This is a beer that I’ve had many times and have always enjoyed, but for some reason, have never written a formal review.  Well, today is the day for that, so let’s not procrastinate any longer.

Here’s the brewer’s description of the Hofbrau Original from the website, hofbraeu-muenchen.de.

Hofbrauhaus is a symbol of Munich’s hospitality and the Bavarian gift for creating a snug and cosy atmosphere.  Beer-lovers from all over the world come here to enjoy its famous beers.  

More than any other, Hofbrau Original embodies the special atmosphere of the beer-making capital of Munich, and exports it to the four corners of the globe.  Its refreshing, bitter flavour and alcoholic content of around 5.1% volume have made it famous worldwide.  A Munich beer with character.

Let’s have a taste.

The Hofbrau Original poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 5.1%.

The appearance of this beer was a very clear, light gold to straw yellow color.  A nicely sized, bright white, soapy, fluffy head stood atop the liquid.  It maintained it’s size for a few moments then dissipated to a slick looking film right on top.  The foam left a some patchy lacing on the sides that looked pretty nice.  Nothing outstanding, but fair enough.

With the nose, the brew had a very distinct grainy, grassy hop fragrance combined with a clean “white” breadiness.  Hints of fresh crackers and earthy goodness swirl about in the bouquet.  The aroma was of medium strength and balanced very well.

In the taste, I, again, received very clean bready malts and fresh grains.  Some light grassy hops brought out a welcomed tone of bitterness.  Through the middle, I detected a slight corn flavor.  Something similar to freshly cut “corn silage” I thought.  It helped add a touch of sweetness and balanced the overall profile.

The mouthfeel was medium, crisp, prickly, refreshing and thirst quenching.  It was quite smooth and dry with good carbonation.  This beer left substantially more flavor on the palate than I remember.  It coated the tongue, roof of the mouth and throat considerably.

This is a very good, solid beer.  I had forgotten how nice it is.  It’s a super easy drink that would be perfect for the warmer months.  It’s a well made brew with plenty of character and complexity to satisfy most any craft beer drinker.  I, honestly, think that it could be thoroughly enjoyed by “macro” drinkers too!!!   For sure, if you have not had it, give it a try if you see it.  I’ll try not to wait so long before my next go round with the Hofbrau Original.

Thanks for reading and commenting.  I really appreciate it. 

Thanks for all the support also!!!

Cheers!!!

Score:  3.9 out of 5
Grade:  B+

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2011 in Country: Germany, Hofbrau

 

Review of Tetley’s English Ale

Are you guys ready for another craft beer review?  I know I am.

Today, I have a beer that I’m very eager to try.  It’s the Tetley’s English Ale from Carlsberg-Tetly Brewing Ltd. in Leeds, United Kingdom.

Now, from what I understand, this brewery closed its doors in June of this year (2011) and was moved to Northampton, so I was fortunate to be able to score a can from the “old” factory before it became too scarce.

The original website is no longer operational, but I was able to find a commercial description of this beer from ratebeer.com

Nitro Keg Ale and Canned Widget Ale.  An export strength beer brewed specifically for countries outside the UK.  It has the same smooth and creamy characteristics as Tetley’s Smoothflow and incorporates a full drinking flavour.  It is well balanced with a complex range of malty and hoppy notes, enhanced by a fruity aroma.  Like Tetley’s Smoothflow, it is served at 8 degrees C to give extra refreshment. 

Let’s pour this nitro canned beer shall we?

This beer came in a 14.9 oz. nitro widget can and had an ABV of 3.6%.

Poured into a nonic glass this beer appeared a very attractive, clear, amber/copper to dark gold in color.  Burnt orange highlights kissed the bottom of the glass.  The crown was very tight, compact, smooth and very creamy looking.  The egg shell colored head was none too large, but it had superb retention and left behind some super thick lacing.  This beer looks good and very inviting.    

At first whiff, this brew smelled outstandingly creamy.  A soft bready malt swirled along with a timid herbal fragrance.  It was a bit sweet with aromas of faint lemon grass and melted butter.  Underlying it all was a yeasty, grainy hint that, again, was subdued and relaxed.  The aroma was nicely balanced, but it was considerably weak and temperate. 

The taste brought forth a very, very creamy to almost milky savor.  A slight buttery note combined with a “graininess” and a doughy, yeasty personality.  A touch of hops were detected, but they seemed to be very mild with no discernible bitterness.  A calm, soft, malty sweetness gave the flavor a bit more disposition.  Once again, exceptionally well balanced, yet constrained considerably. 

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/thin.  Incredibly creamy and smooth.  Mostly crisp, soft and feathery.  It was completely refreshing on the hot day that I tried it.  It’s a slight bit watery, which led to not much flavor being left behind on the palate.  It faded pretty quick to be honest.

Overall, this beer has an unbelievable ease of drinkability factor.  I think I could “kill” several of these at one time and not think twice about it.  This is a decent brew.  It’s nothing outstanding or overly complicated, however it’s nothing horrible or obtrusive either.  This seems like a “working man’s” type of beer.  Just pop open a cold one and enjoy.  It’s worth a try for the sheer creaminess of it.  I’m sure you may still be able to find a can or two on the shelves, but who knows for how much longer and if the recipe is going to change?  So don’t wait.  If you see it, give it a try.  It’s darn fun to drink!!!  I might just have to pick this up again sometime myself. 

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  Have a great day.

Cheers!!!

Score:  3.6 out of 5
Grade:  B 

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2011 in Country: England, Tetley's

 

Review of Founders Dry Hopped Pale Ale

Today, I’m going to try another brew from that outstanding brewery located in Grand Rapids, Michigan…… The Founders Brewing Company. 

The beer I’m going to review this time is the Dry Hopped Pale Ale.

Let’s get right to it and see what the website (foundersbrewing.com) has to say about this beer.
A testament to Cascade hops in a bottle, this medium-bodied pale ale has a refreshing citrus flavor and a distinctive floral hop aroma due to the aggressive addition of hops during fermentation.  You’ll notice a slight malty sweetness with a balanced hop finish.  Perfect to enjoy anytime, anywhere. 
It’s time to pour.
The Dry Hopped Pale Ale has a 5.4% ABV and comes in a 12 oz. bottle. 
The beer had the look of a honey/gold to light orange color.  Slightly hazy with a white head of good size and retention.  Some nice sticky lacing stayed on the sides of the glass for a little bit.
The aroma brought forth a nice burst of grapefruit citrus.  It smelled very juicy.  A decent little floral hop slid through and some restrained caramel malt and breadiness brought up the rear.  A faint touch of pine was duly noted, but otherwise the aroma was fairly well balanced and even.
The flavor was quite a bit more relaxed than the aroma seemed to be.  I was still able to find a worthy representation of grapefruit, biscuit, crisp wafers and some caramel sweetness though.  It seemed to be balanced very well, however it was just a smidgen subdued, soft and light.  The hop “bite” and bitterness was there too.  It was simple and comfortable.  Not the overabundance of hops that I’m accustomed to Founders products having.  It still had a pretty nice flavor though.  
The mouthfeel was medium, smooth, dry, crisp, snappy and semi-refreshing.  Not an overabundance of flavor was left behind, however it did leave a light coating on the tongue and throat.  
I thought this was a “good” beer.  I don’t think it quite measures up to some of the other Founders brews that I’ve sampled, but it was still an enjoyable drink.  It didn’t quite have the “oomph” that I’ve come to expect from their “hopped” beers.  That being said, I still think this beer would be great for the warmer weather months.  It had enough complexity for contemplation and it actually gave me a little break from the Imperial/Double IPA’s without me totally having to give up the hops.  Don’t hesitate to give it a try if you see it.  It’s a nice beer.  Don’t expect a BIG beer, but rather a pleasant, enjoyable and well made brew.  
Thanks, as always, for all the readers and supporters.  Feel free to comment anytime.  
Cheers!!!
Score:  3.85 out of 5
Grade:  B+ 
 
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Posted by on July 29, 2011 in Country: USA, Founders

 
 
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