Beer Reviews (116)

Amber treats: Exotic blood orange beers

Hot weather does strange things to my palate. This summer, the heat has kindled an intense thirst for unusual things. No, loyal reader, you won't find me tasting paint thinner any time soon, but you get my drift. I'm sipping beers with added fruits and other assorted oddities this summer. This week, I'm sampling beers made with blood orange. The deep red-purple color of this fruit is caused by a family of chemicals called anthocyanins,…

Enter the tropics with Mango Brews

I've been on extended jag of tasting fruit beers. We sipped beers infused with tangerine, grapefruit, and raspberry, and this week, we'll sip a few beers with a unconventional fruit addition: Mango!   When I smell mango, I think of  beaches, hot weather, exotic locales and beer. Well, many things remind me of beer, but the mango has an even more particular connection to my favorite beverage. The chemical constituents of the strong floral, “fruity”…

Tasting beers with grapefruit appeal

This month, we're tasting beers that feature fruit and berry flavors. We've sipped tangerine and raspberry beers so far, and this week, we're try beers with grapefruit flavors. Grapefruit is a surprisingly natural addition to beer. Many popular hop varietals feature flavors that are chemically similar to the flavors and aromas found in this bitter citrus, so adding the actual fruit to the beer intensifies and augments these flavors in a surprisingly harmonious way. Grapefruit…

Tangerine dreams: These beers burst with citrus flavor

Last week, we tasted succulent raspberry beers, many of which featured the vibrant taste of the berry, without too much sweetness. A tasting I  feared would end with cavities and an insulin drip ended with a big grin and a nice buzz. “Hey,” I thought tipsily, “Maybe there is something to these fruit beers.” Then I hiccuped and passed out. I was on to something, though. Fruit beers used to be sick parodies so doused…

Refresh with raspberry beer

The last time I drank a raspberry-flavored fluid, it was from my local corner store, as part of a dare. I requested a Slurpee with two pumps of each flavor, chuged it as fast as possible, and tried not to die from the resulting cold-migraine and corn-syrup induced diabetes. Lately, I've seen ads and press releases for beers that incorporate raspberries. All of these evoked an unpleasant sense-memory of the chemical reek of that muddled…

Defy convention with diverse summer beers

Nothing says summer like cold beer.  Brewers happily oblige our thirst, and create a wide variety of beers marketed for summer consumption. Some are ales, bursting with flavor and brewed with a yeast that lives on the top of fermenting beer. Some are lagers, with subtle flavors, created by yeasts that live on the bottom of the fermenting beer. Some are jacked up by bizarre adjuncts and nearly impossible to classify. This week, as part…

New England summer beers

Summer is upon us at long last, bringing bright sun, and long, thirsty nights. I'm dedicating the month to tastings of summer beers. What makes a beer a summer beer? Thankfully, there's no dictionary definition of what makes a beer suitable for summer consumption. The hot weather and long days of the season suggest beers that are lower in alcohol, have moderately thin body, and aren't aggressiveness hopped. Companies market both lagers and ales as…

Seasonal beers to salute the sunny summer!

Summer at last! Our eight weeks of annual solar bliss call for highly specific beers with extremely complex names and flavors. I'm kidding, of course, loyal readers! Summer in Maine is all about squeezing the most fun possible into a short season, so it calls for beers that you can consumer in immoderate quantity before the cursed snow locks our hearts in a frozen fist. In honor of the season, I'm dedicating the next few…

A mosaic of hop flavor

Water is the body of a beer, malt is its backbone, and hops are its personality. Brewers probably began to use the flower of the hop vine for its preservative effect. A variety of chemicals in the resinous hop cone do have inhibitory effects on microorganisms and prevented beer from spoiling in the pre-sanitation era. Modern brewers, however, continue to use hops because we've grown to love the taste. There are hundreds of varieties of…

Add some spice to spring with ginger beer

Commercial ginger ale and ginger beer make use of ginger root to create a refreshingly spicy bite. Despite the suggestive names, neither is actually fermented or alcoholic. I set out to find examples of actual beer, filled with fermented alcoholic glory, which incorporates the spicy flavor of ginger. Each of the beers below is a different style, unified only by their shared use of gingers as an adjunct. Try pairing them with spicy Thai or…
Subscribe to this RSS feed