This was a wonderful weekend in Houston. The weather was beautiful, and this ended up being a good beer weekend. As most of you know Anvil tapped a keg of wine barrel aged Real Ale Coffee Porter. I wish I could say it was earth shattering good, unfortunately it wasn't. It was still a great Coffee Porter, but I didn't (and neither did the 4 or 5 other folks I talked with) really get any barrel notes or wine notes. But alas it was a nice effort from the small brewery in Blanco Texas. I didn't get discouraged though, I had more New Glarus beers to try.
Hop Hearty: Claiming to be a Wisconsin IPA gets my attention right of the bat. Brewed with old and new world hops and additional dry hopping of Cascade and East Kent Goldings lends this to be a hybrid beer, between what one expects an American IPA to be and what an English IPA is. The beer pours an amber orangish color with a thick slightly off white head. The nose is of hoppy citrus, and caramel malts, some bready notes as well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and hoppy. Citrus peel, earthy floral notes, caramel, breadiness, sweet pale malts. Very smooth and easy drinking, my hop headiness thinking this is more of a pale ale than an IPA, more British style, more restrained. Biscuity notes as the beer warms. A little more bitter than a traditional English pale ale, some more citrus-y notes. A good drinkable, dare I say sessionable beer. Gets a solid B from me. Here's what the folks at BA had to say.
Old English Porter: Having spoken to some beer folks about this beer, I have been pretty excited to try this one. This beer is brewed in what I imagine was a traditional sort of way. Per the website on the brew, their recipe is based on the research of one Graham Wheeler. The beer was made with multiple different malts including a small amount of smoked, half the batch went through a souring fermentation, then the whole beer was aged on wood. The beer weighs in at 5.5% and pours a rich brown with a quarter inch tan colored head. The nose was of richly roasted malts, oak, sourness and tartness, almost a tang to the nose. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, and the sourness hits you with a right hook. It's tartness right off the bat, then subtle notes of roasted malts, slightly burnt coffee, vanilla show up. This is exactly what I would have expected a Porter to taste like some 100 plus years ago. The sourness, tartness, and out right tanginess hit you up front, but the other flavors are what lingers giving you the impression that you are drinking two different beers. Notes of chocolate show up as well. It's almost like drinking slightly sour chocolate milk, except it tastes much better than that description. Amazingly done, and gets an A from me. Here's what the folks at BA had to say.