Sonoma County in California is known for their wine. Wine country… Full of vineyards, Porsches, and tourists pretending to know what the hell they are talking about when it comes to wine. Little do these clueless tourists know that in this very same area there is a place that they will very likely overlook. And what a shame that is. Bear Republic lives in these hills, with that said, enter their Hop Rod Rye:
Since I have recently been digging on rye style beers, this beer popped up on my radar. Here in Ohio, it runs around $11 a four pack, which puts it in that “Questionable Purchase” category. Especially if you are not too into the rye flavor. But let me tell you, if you want to try a new beer/style today, this is where you should start.
The beer pours a nice amber, with an off white head. The smells that float off of the pour are not as strong as one might expect, at least for me, which my sense of smell could be considered faulty. That is the price you pay to be a zookeeper. Anyway, once the beer hits your mouth it is a completely different story. Right off the bat, bitter hops hit your mouth. Not in violent way, but they definitely make their presence known. Following that first impression comes the earthy rye flavor that compliments the hops perfectly. The beer finishes with another twist, this time in the flavor of sweeter malts, which again, compliment the flavors perfectly. One thing to point out, is let this beer warm up just a bit, say, a few minutes before drinking. Ice cold from the refrigerator brings out a slight metallic taste. Once finished with your first though, you will quickly reach for another.
This is a great beer for the rye lover, and the rye novice alike. Just be careful with this hot rod, because it weighs in at 8% ABV. This beer is definitely on my short list of rye favorites. Well done Bear Republic!
Every now and again, a beer comes along that completely catches me off guard. Not that I expect it to be bad, but just a pleasant surprise. That is the case with this dandy, coming straight from a field of rye. Enter the Righteous Ale:
Rye style beers are still a bit new to me, but I am really liking them so far. The rye flavor is spicy, in a very peppery way and it blends with lots of different flavors nicely. This beer is no exception. The beer pours a beautiful dark amber, with a slightly tan head. Smell wise, you are inhaling a spice girl, with rye overpowering everything else. Taste wise, the rye follows that up with a big hit of rye spices, over a nice blend of sweeter malt, and a bit of hops. This beer is not as earthy as some other rye beers, but that makes it very easy to drink. If you are looking for a great introduction to rye flavor, you NEED to check this one out.
Add all of that together, and serve it up in a can? Yes please. This beer accompanied me on a recent bicycle outing, making it easy to pack in and pack out. I am starting to like this “good beer in a can” trend, and so does Sixpoint, as all of the beer that I have seen from them comes in a can.
Overall, this beer is a keeper. Definitely one of my newer, go to beers when out cruising the beer aisle. Well done Sixpoint!
Flannel has always been a staple in my wardrobe. Ever since I was a kid growing up in the middle of nowhere, flannel was just part of the local uniform. Functional and stylish. At least until the 1990s. Every now and again, much to my wife’s chagrin, I break out a few pieces from my rock and roll days and sport it like a trophy belt buckle. Not that I have one of those or anything… anyway, when I caught a glimpse of this beer, I knew it had to come home with me:
Enter Great Divide Brewing Company’s Hoss Rye Lager. Right off the bat, with the subtle lumberjack flannel backdrop of the label, this beer screams “I love Soundgarden!” Well maybe not that exactly, but I am sure it screams something.
Normally, I do not get myself all excited over lagers. Sure, there are a few that are quite tasty, and since I have been jamming on Great Divide’s products here lately, I thought this deserved a spin. After a sixer of this, here are the thoughts:
Right out of the gate, it pours a nice amber color. I love a beer with a good color palate, and this beer does not disappoint. Beautiful color that you normally would not see on a lager. One of the beers best attributes though is the smell. Flagrant sweet smells hit the nose coming from the malts, and some darker fruits. This leaves a little to be desired once it hits the mouth though. Granted it tastes great, but the smells from this beer are heavenly for a lager. Apart from that little note, the flavors of this beer make it a great Oktoberfest/Marzen style that makes me wish it were fall. Smooth and easy to drink, the rye spiciness gives a different touch to the flavor which then finishes nice and dry. This is a great version of the Marzen style, and I am planning on remembering this beer anytime that I want to pretend it is October.
So take a flannel bottle, and put some Oktoberfest style brew in it, and that makes a winner in my book. It makes me extremely happy that this beer is available year round, so it can be Oktoberfest at any point in the year. So by the transitive property, that also means that I can wear flannel at any point of the year as well. Double win. Now off to drink and listen to Soundgarden…
Cheers to you Great Divide!