I was in Chicago last month watching the Cincinnati Reds play the Chicago Cubs. I got to sample a few tasty beers brewed right in the Windy City. Here are a few of my faves.
Goose Island 312
312 is classified as an American Pale Wheat Ale. You can definitely taste the wheat, along with citrus flavors. This is a creamy and refreshing medium-bodied beer. I’ve continued to buy 312 here at home, although it’s probably more of a summer beer (I’ve started to stock up on Sam Adams Oktoberfest for the Fall since it’s only available for a limited time).
Goose Island Green Line
Green Line is considered an American Pale Ale with a bright, hoppy aroma and citrus fruit flavor. It is light, crisp with a little spice and a slightly bitter finish. Green Line Pale Ale is the beer at the core of Goose Island’s environmental sustainability initiative, the Green Line Project. The beer is available on draft only in Chicago to help cut down on packaging waste and reduce the impact from refrigerating and transporting the beer.
Goose Island Matilda
Matilda is a Belgian Style Pale Ale. It has a spicy aroma and a slightly fruity – with a hint of honey – taste. The beer is a little dry; not overpowering, but smooth and very drinkable.
Metropolitan Brewing Krankshaft
Krankshaft is a Kolsch style beer. Kolsch is a clear German brew with a bright, straw-yellow hue, and just slight hoppiness. This was the lightest beer of the four and perfect for a hot day . This crisp, light-bodied beer has a lemony sweetness and light malt flavor. Metropolitan Brewing is the newest microbrewery in Chicago.
The other night I had a delicious beer that’s perfect for summer. I was out with friends at Barleycorn’s Five Mile House in Lakeside Park. On tap was Pink Lemonade, a refreshing blend of two Leinenkugel’s beers :
Summer Shandy, a seasonal beer and the brewer’s version of a traditional German Radler, a combination of beer and German-style lemonade. Radler, which means “cyclist” in German, dates back to the early 1900s. The tale goes…a bar owner short on his beer supply became overwhelmed by a group of cyclists because they were thirsty from their travels. So the bar owner mixed whatever beer he had with lemonade. Over the years, the recipe has added Sprite or 7-Up instead of lemonade. Hmm…I see a little recipe testing in my future.
Berry Weiss, a year-round Leinenkugel’s beer that contains the flavors of blackberries, elderberries and loganberries.
This beer was very refreshing and thirst-quenching. Fitting for the end of a 95-degree day. And it did look a lot like pink lemonade (my pictures did not turn out well so I apologize for not being able to share).
I loved the taste but I don’t think I could drink too many because of the sweetness. It’s a great summer option though if you’re looking to try a different twist on beer.
This is probably a little unorthodox, but I’m going to write about it anyway. It DOES have something to do with beer at least.
It may seem crazy to combine heart-pumping physical activity with beer drinking – although I know some people that would consider beer drinking a sport. Even the organizers call this event “a ridiculous running race.” I’ve always thought an ice cold beer tastes great after a good run, so I’m in.
Tap ‘N’ Run is a 4K (or 2.5 mile) running race that includes four beer chug stations along the race course – plus a full beer at the finish line, along with crazy costumes, contests and awards, and an after-party with live music on the barge at Hooters and Beer Seller down along the river.
The race is professionally timed and all participants will receive a medal – that doubles as a bottle opener of course, the equivalent of more than two beers and a Tap ‘N’ Run t-shirt. They also will offer non-alcoholic beverages and even a taxi partner to help get everyone home safely.
They will be checking IDs, so you must be 21 years of age on race day to participate and you MUST present a valid ID at check-in.
I am joining a few friends to create a team. I’ve never participated in this but it sounds like a blast. Cost is $38 per person if you register before Saturday, April 28. The price goes up from there. Visit http://www.tapnrun.com for more info and to register. Hope to see you there!
I recently hosted a wine tasting for a liquor store and I noticed a champagne bottle in the beer section. I asked about it and the beer distributor told me that it was the Sam Adams Infinium Ale. It’s a premium beer that was collaborated between Sam Adams Boston Beer Company and the Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan (world’s oldest Brewery).
When you peel back the wrapper you’ll notice that it has a champagne cork that you open very carefully like a champagne cork. A crisp champagne-like beer with tiny bubbles and a fruity aroma tastes more like a champagne or wine. It has a hint of citrus, pear, and apple taste with a subtle dry taste of hops. The golden amber color has tiny bubbles that makes you want to stare at it for hours. Malt, hops, alcohol, and acidity are a perfect balance, there’s nothing that I would change about this perfect champagne beer.
Infinium is a drink that beer drinkers and wine drinkers can enjoy together. But there’s only one catch, drink it while it’s still on the shelves and it’s only drinkable till July of this year.
February is shaping up to be a great time to be a beer drinker in the Cincinnati area. The weather’s cold and the nights are long, but there are an amazing number of events coming in the next few weeks. Here’s a quick rundown:
In a few weeks, it will be the inaugural celebration of Cincinnati Beer Week. An official site has popped up to try and track the various events around the city, but I recommend hopping over to the Hoperatives blog for their take on the latest information. Here are a few of the events about which I’m excited:
Thursday February 2
Party Town Local Breweries Backroom Brawl from 6:00 – 8:00pm
Party Town kicks off Cincinnati’s Inaugural Beer Week with a “Backroom Brawl” of only local craft brews featuring the “Cincinnati Beer Week Barleywine,” a collaboration between local brewers, and our 18 tap growler program voted “Best of 2011″ by Cincinnati Magazine! Cost $2.00
Friday February 3
Arnold’s Bourbon Barrel 1861 Porter Happy Hour Tapping at 5pm
In honor of beer week Christian Moerlein has remixed a batch of the Arnold’s 1861 Porter. Arnold’s is already the only place that you could get the Porter, but for this special release, Christian Moerlein will be aging the same beer in a bourbon barrel.
Saturday February 4:
Cincinnati Brew Ha-Ha! from 07:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Cincy Brew Ha-Ha Winter Edition will bring all that has been enjoyed over the past 5 years indoors to the Cintas Center on Xavier University’s campus for its Winter Edition. This one-of-a-kind local event features top beers and top comedians creating the perfect recipe for a great time. From ales to lagers and pilsners to stouts, there is something for every type of beer aficionado – including 6 firkins! Cincy Brew Ha-Ha Winter Edition will feature over 80 selections of beer to sample and multiple comedians on 2 stages.
Additionally, there are a bunch of other events, including a 3 Floyds beer dinner at Tellers (2/8) and a selection of Left Hand beers on tap at the Hyde Park Cock and Bull (2/9) . This all leads up to the Cincinnati Winter Beer Festival on the 10th and 11th. Last year, this event was a great time and apparently it’s going to be even bigger this year. Click over to their site for more information and tickets.
On Feb 25, the Moerlein Lager house will be opening as part of the Banks, adding the first alternative to the Holy Grail, which opened last March. Tickets are $150 and the doors open at 6:30. More information can be found over on the Lager House official website.
I’m off to drink a Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere. That should help keep me sated until next month.
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