CLEVELAND, Ohio – Our monthly beer review covers a mixed 12-pack from Shiner along with a few other brews. Plus, we offer some beer and brewery news at the end.
As usual, all should be available on local store shelves. Our photos show what the beers look like, and we note our favorite at the end.
Troegs Brewing, Pennsylvania, India Pale Ale, 6.5%
Light-bodied and a bit thin (almost tastes like a sessionable ale). Hops are restrained with subtle tropical flavors. Not a huge citrus bomb but a drinkable IPA.
Narragansett Brewing Co., Rochester, New York; Lager, 5%
Smooth, nothing crazy but very quaffable. Very slight sweet tinge. Old-school lawnmower beer. The brewery makes its beers in Rochester, Providence, Rhode Island; and Connecticut.
Southern Grist Brewing Co., Nashville, Pilsner, 4.8%
Very hoppy, a bit grainy, and even pithy – surprising for a Pilsner, but it’s there. Usually if you taste pith you’re probably drinking an India Pale Ale, so this was different.
Shiner’s Desert’s Dozen mixed 12-pack of TexHex includes four beers brewed with cactus water – usually prickly pear juice. But it really isn’t notable on the palate. Still, a few hearty offerings from Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas, with a variety of International Bittering Units for each:
Hazy India Pale Ale, 8%: This hazy has nice body with a healthy dose of hops definitely making their presence known, especially on a lingering finish. Some tangerine notes. Made with Strata hops. IBUs: 45.
Double India Pale Ale, 9.5%: Nicely balanced ale. Peach and tangerine flavors pop through with hops surging through. Not alcoholic tasting at all despite pushing double digits in alcohol percentage. Brewed with Idaho 7 and Citra hops. IBUs: 80.
Double Hazy India Pale Ale, 9.5%: Orange is dominant in this big beer – good mouthfeel, slight alcoholic tasting though very limited burn on the finish. Brewed with Idaho 7 hops. IBUs: 40.
India Pale Ale, 7%: Smooth, nothing crazy here in this drinkable beer. Hint of orange meshes with hoppiness on the palate. For those who remember Spanish I, “bruja” means “witch.” Made with Amarillo hops. IBUs: 60.
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Six-pack of brewery news
As you get set to celebrate National Beer Lovers Day on Thursday, Sept. 7, and National Drink Beer Day on Thursday, Sept. 28, here are a few brewery and beer notes from around the country:
• Stone Brewing has created the first official beer for the University of Southern California’s athletics programs. Stone Fight On Pale Ale is 5.5% alcohol and will be distributed throughout Southern California at stores, bars, restaurants and at the Los Angeles Colosseum and Galen Center, home of the USC Trojans.
• Silver Eagle Distributors Houston is teaming up with Kona Big Wave and Anheuser-Busch to support the Maui community in the aftermath of the devastating wildfires. Every case of Big Wave sold this month via Houston retail sales will provide a 50-cent case contribution to the Hawai’i Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund.
• Thousands of people signed a petition calling on Sapporo to allow Anchor Brewing Co. employees to purchase Anchor Brewing, which Sapporo shut down in July. Also, Enterprise Brewing released Solidarity Ale to raise money for Anchor’s union workers. At least two online petitions were offered: change.org/anchorunion and change.org/saveanchor. Anchor and Enterprise are neighbors in San Francisco.
• For the third consecutive year, Tröegs Independent Brewing’s guided production tour has been voted the nation’s best brewery tour in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice poll. Also, the Hershey, Pennsylvania, brewery is bringing back Oktoberfest Lager for the fall. For a lager, it’s a hearty 6.1% alcohol.
• Shiner has released Storm Caster IPA (5.5% alcohol) and Black Lager (4.9%) for the fall. Storm Caster is made with cactus water experimental hops, and the lager is returning with a new design.
• Coors Banquet has launched “Protect Our Protectors.” It supports firefighters through Wildland Firefighter Foundation and other fire organizations nationwide. Go to protectourprotectors.com.
This month’s favorite: The Shiner quartet was fine, but maybe it’s because I’ve been cutting the lawn a lot that makes me choose Narragansett.
Our reviews: Most of the beers we buy come from Northeast Ohio retail shops and stores. We choose Heinen’s, Red, Wine & Brew; Acme, Giant Eagle, Mustard Seed Market, Whole Foods and others.
Like beer? Check out GiveThemBeer for gifts for beer lovers. The company offers craft-beer baskets, seasonal selections and more.
I am on cleveland.com’s life and culture team and cover food, beer, wine and sports-related topics. If you want to see my stories, here’s a directory on cleveland.com. Bill Wills of WTAM-1100 and I talk food and drink usually at 8:20 a.m. Thursday morning. Twitter: @mbona30.
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