Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
The prairie banana, the banango and Asimina triloba. What do these three things have in common? All are euphemisms for the official native state fruit of Ohio - the pawpaw. In fact, the pawpaw is so celebrated, Athens County has hosted the Ohio Pawpaw Festival annually since 1999.
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery, also located in Athens County, decided to create a brew using this native fruit. The result is their PawPaw Wheat, an imperial wheat ale.
It pours a light amber in color with a fizzy white head. The aroma has notes of fresh-baked biscuits and Juicyfruit gum. On the palate, flavors of papaya, plantain, mango and a whiff of clove playfully mingle together. The tropical stonefruit notes on the finish lead into hints of of sweet malt with a slightly delayed peppery heat from the alcohol. At 9 percent alcohol, this is far from being a sessionable beer.
The PawPaw Wheat would be an excellent match for glazed honey ham or peach cobbler.
It is currently available in 12.7 ounce bottles, which retail for $5.99 each. Locally, it is distributed by Cavalier Distributing.
Monday, May 11, 2015
It all began simply enough. Three friends - one a business analyst and the other two engineers by trade - making homebrew together. The hobby soon became an obsession, so the trio decided to formulate a business plan and gather investors.
After 18 months of blood, sweat and beers, MadTree Brewing was born in the heart of Cincinnati. Thanks to its growing popularity and an increase in production, MadTree was able to expand its distribution into the central Ohio market in December of last year. MadTree's latest beer to hit local shelves is their Citra High, an imperial IPA brewed with Citra and Simcoe hops.
Citra High pours a clear amber in color with a white head and considerable lacing. Aromas of passionfruit, peach and sweet citrus blend harmoniously with toasty malt notes. Hints of spruce meld with the bright, fruity flavors of tangerine, papaya and mango. The long, creamy finish is redolent of juicy tropical fruits.
Though it masks its alcohol quite well, keep in mind that Citra High 10.2% alcohol by volume. It would be a perfect compliment to fare like prosciutto, a sharp English cheddar or a scoop of salted caramel ice cream.
Citra High is a limited-release and is currently available in 4-packs for $11.99. It is distributed locally by Cavalier Distributing.
Sunday, May 3, 2015
At one time, Cleveland was one of the most-important beer cities in the United States. Unfortunately like many cities, Cleveland's breweries began closing because they could not compete with the national brands. In 1984, Cleveland's last brewery ceased production and shuttered its doors. Cleveland beer was seemingly gone for good. But on September 6th, 1988, Cleveland's rich brewing history began a new chapter with the opening of Great Lakes Brewing Company, Ohio's first craft brewery.
For almost three decades, Great Lakes Brewing Company has been consistently producing award-winning ales and lagers with no signs of them slowing down. Their newest offering is Alberta Clipper, a porter that is brewed with chocolate and raspberries.
Alberta Clipper pours an opaque dark taupe with a creamy tan head and fine lacing. On the nose, aromas of dulce de leche, dark cocoa and fresh raspberry jam blend seamlessly. The predominate flavors are of roasted malt, coffee and caramel combined with decadent notes of bramble fruits on the clean finish. The bitterness on the finish cleanses the palate from the slightly sweet flavors provided by the chocolate and raspberries.
Some potential food pairings are barbecued ribs, Brie fondue or dark chocolate truffles.
Alberta Clipper is a seasonal-release that is currently available in 4-packs, which retail for $9.99. Locally, it is distributed by Glazer's Distributors.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
The beer-style of Gose, a sour wheat ale brewed with salt and coriander, dates back to the early 1600s in Germany. During its heyday, it was one of the most popular regional styles of beer in Germany. But by 1988, Gose had become extinct not only in Germany, but throughout the entire world. Recently, Gose has experienced a bit of a renaissance with a handful of craft breweries producing their interpretation of the style.
Victory Brewing first started producing beer in 1996 in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, but its roots began much earlier - elementary school. The two would-be founders met each other on a school bus in 1973 when they were in the 5th grade. That budding friendship would eventually grow into a successful business. In 2013, Victory opened another brewery, which gave them the ability to revamp their lineup and expand their repertoire. The culmination of Victory's exploration is their Kirsch Gose simply described on the label as a "sour cherry bier."
The Kirsch Gose pours a clear scarlet with a pink head and considerable effervescence. On the nose, notes of bing cherries, lemon and seawater combine with aromas of vinegar and funky cheese. Flavors of cherry hard candy, green apple, sourdough bread and saltine crackers combine for a dry, puckering finish.
The confluence of sweet, sour and salty provides a thirst-quenching quality that is second to none. This highly-sessionable brew would pair well with ceviche, Gruyere cheese or a sunny spring afternoon.
A spring seasonal release, Victory Kirsch Gose is available in 4 packs and retails for $9.99. It is distributed locally by Heidelberg Distributing.