Alright, so I have had several beers I’ve had the last few weeks or so that I want to share.
First off, if you recall, my hometown brewery is Free State Brewery in good ‘ol Lawrence, Kansas. They have been busting their butts and brewing a ridiculous spectrum of beers recently. I feel like I’ve been having a new one every week, so here we go!
Courtesy of Free State Facebook’s Page
Beer #99: Blood Orange Radler, Free State Brewery
What is up with Radler’s? They are taking off like no one has ever heard of them or tried them before. If you haven’t, the history in a nutshell of the story of a radler is gatorade for cyclists with the lovely harmony of a beer ringing true. Anyway, this one is AWESOME. First off, Free State Brewery can apparently not just brew beer, but can also brew up a HOME-MADE BLOOD ORANGE SODA. And damn, do I love blood orange soda. So they took their blood orange soda and perfectly matched it with their wheat beer (the first batch was actually with a lighter wheat beer). People loved it. People cried. People laughed. People fell off their bar stools. And now everyone in the state of KS is trying to get their hands on it. I’m not a fan of ultra-sweet beers b/c of it losing the integrity of being beer, and I am also not a fan of soda b/c of it being too sweet. However, this is right in the middle and serves to satisfy my not-so-active sweet tooth. If you need something sweet (but won’t kill you), refreshing, crisp and with a bit of carbonation and an underlying very light beer flavor, this is it. (8 IBUs)
From FS Instagram
Beer #100: HopSession, Free State Brewery
I am very disappointed in this beer, and I think the fact that it went to a $1.75 beer special on Monday nights (aka pint night) proves people aren’t liking it. I love IPAs and I love hops. However, this beer just makes me think their brewers thought, “Let’s just make the HOPPIEST beer ever!” and then completely ignored the rest of the beer’s chemistry. It taste like bile. It just taste like carbonated bitter…like a gin and tonic mixed with bile. I wanted to return this beer and get my $3.75 back. The crazy thing too is this beer is only 40 IBUs but just taste like crap.
Beer #101: Phoenix Rising, Free State Brewery
Wow! This beer rocks. It has a great amber color with a decent head. Very crisp and clean lager with a medium presence of malts and a hint of bitter that harmonizes well. This is another beer you could drink a lot of but still have a great delivery of malts without exploding from fullness.
Beer #102: Andre the Giant, Free State Brewery
I’m going to be short and sweet with this one. Do you ever wonder what a beer would taste like if it was a powerhouse of malts AND hops? Well, Free State did, and they succeeded in brewing the perfect chemistry. A beautiful deep malty brown color, and an off-white creamy head. You taste toasted, powerful, coffee/caramel like malts. And then, you get smacked with the warmth of a bitter hops. Perfect. Never had anything like it. Well done Free State! (92 IBUs)
Beer #103: Lemongrass Rye, Free State Brewery
You know those “refreshing” summer beers that everyone is always vying for? Especially those described as summery and tend to have a citrus/lemony flavor? Well, this one takes the cake. This is beautiful golden, crisp beer. It just smells refreshing with a hint of citrus. It cleans your palate like a crisp pilsner but carries some malt and of course a light rye flavor. And then there’s the lemon. It is a perfect addition to bring out all the flavors of the beer rather than making it taste like lysol like so many other “citrus, summer beers.” Thin head and a good amount of carbonation to let you keep drinking and drinking without filling you up. (12 IBUs)
Now, I need to actually look back and see what beers I’ve blogged about b/c I don’t actually remember a lot of them, but Beer #104 is Pop-Up Session IPA, Boulevard Brewery. So, love of beer runs in my family, and my brother just got married and had his reception at one of the greatest microbrews in my opinion: Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City, Missouri (the only good thing about Missouri, rock chalk! town rivalry kind of thing). On the right is picture of all the beers I had unlimited access to (and we had unlimited BBQ…KC BBQ + KC Beer = PARTY OF THE CENTURY). You’ll see on the far left, it is a tester called Session IPA…well the demand was great for it as the community toured and sampled Boulevard’s beer, and they are now bottling it and releasing it very soon. This is a VERY drinkable IPA – yes you get a delivery of bitter (probably on a scale of 1-10, a 5 or 6), but the hops are so very floral and aromatic. So really, you get a beautiful balance of fruits and hops. It is a very nice crisp, golden color with a good amount of lacing that remains, as you can see from the picture on the right…also feel free to drool over the BBQ. I’m so excited to have this beer soon at easy access. (IBUs: 45; ABV: 4.2%)
Picture courtesy of The Pitch
Another great beer Boulevard Brewery and Sierra Nevada (California) collaborated on for Boulevard’s smokestack series was Beer #105: Terra Incognita and WOW, am I glad this vision came true. This beer reminds me a little bit of a less sour stingo b/c you do get a good amount of tart. However, you also get a little bit of chocolate flavors and a very nice deep roasted malt. Very nice thick foamy head. My favorite thing about this beer though is the oak and whiskey flavor that is delivered throughout the sip and body of the beer. I am a big fan of this beer, and I would love if they made it a permanent beer that would be released again in the fall for those cool nights.
Also from Boulevard Brewery was their much acclaimed and sought after Saison Brett 2013. I will blog about this on an other day as I luckily have another bottle I managed to save (through much self-control). I also have a bottle of this I’m going to age for a year and try again (woo more alcohol content and a plethora of more flavor).
I’m getting excited just talking about all these beers. I feel like these last few beers have been riding in the back of my head begging to be shared with the world, so I’m glad I could finally “confess” and get that off my chest. Hope you enjoyed!