Beer Journal

A quasi-daily examination of beer and things related to beer.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Pumpkin Ale

Style: American Ale
Brewer: Buffalo Bill's Brewery (for the restaurant); Portland Brewing Co. (for bottling and distribution)
Location: Hayward, California, USA; Portland, Oregon, USA

As soon as you open a bottle of Pumpkin Ale, you are hit with a waft of nutmeg an cinnamon that smells, appropriately enough, just like pumpkin pie. The similarities don't end there. With the first taste, the immediate mouthfeel is one of the same dessert, with the aforementioned spices coming right to the pallet. All that's really missing is the crust. That, and the warmth, which makes tasting these flavors in unison so peculiar, and for most people, a turn off.

Essentially, Pumpkin Ale is a perfect seasonal beer, in every sense of the word. In fact, it doesn't make much sense to drink this beer at all if it's not the autumn season. I wouldn't highly recommend buying a six-pack of the stuff unless you've already tried it, and it's probably not a very good investment at the pint level if you aren't the type that appreciates distinct beers. Don't get me wrong, many discerning beer drinkers probably won't like this drink either, but it does have an interesting, extremely complex flavoring that improves each time, that is worth at least a try for adventurous drinkers.

Rating: 5.9

Monday, November 01, 2004

Sand Creek English Style Special Ale

Style: English Style Ale
Brewer: Sand Creek Brewing Company
Location: Black River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

Aside from obvious connotations, I'm not too sure as to what makes something an English Style Ale. As I imagined, this beer is very plain tasting at first mouthfeel, with only a sharp bitter flavor at the end. That flavor lasts for a few moments, providing a sort of sour feel.

For the most part, it tastes like flavored water. Really. Come to think of it, that's pretty much exactly how I've heard most English style ales described, so there I go.

What makes this drink exceptionally significant is the fact that it is the first beer I am rating from my newly joined beer of the month club. A comprehensive analysis of the alcohol-by-mail experience will be unveiled at a later date.

Rating: 5.0