2006 | REVIEWS | NEW BEER RELEASES
NEW BEER RELEASES
Does your brewery have a new release or new seasonal
release? To have it reviewed here, please send at least two
bottles, a flat label and information about the beer to our
CBN offices located at: New Releases, Celebrator Beer
News, 22455 Maple Court, Lower Level, Hayward, CA 94541
Deschutes Brewery, Oregon
This year, Deschutes celebrates its 18th anniversary with
a new Czech-style pilsner that uses Saaz hops and 100% pilsner
malt. It’s light gold in color with grassy noble hop
aromas. This beer is crisp on the palate and very clean with
big hop flavors. It’s a light, refreshing beer that
still manages to have a lot going on, and it tastes great
even at room temperature. The finish is particularly nice,
as it keeps the celebration going and flavors dance on your
tongue long after hours. Outstanding.
Gordon Biersch Brewing, California
Dan Gordon’s Bavarian-style hefeweizen has been available
on draft for many years and is now available in six-packs.
It’s cloudy straw-gold in color with a great pillowy
ivory head. It has an excellent signature German nose with
bananas and cloves in abundance. Even so, it’s a little
atypical for the style and boasts a fruit bowl of flavors
with dominant banana notes. This 5.4% abv beer is brewed with
55% malted wheat and 45% malted barley. Highly Recommended.
Farmhouse Brewing, California
Farmhouse’s Kölsch is cold-conditioned for a smooth,
crisp lagerlike finish. At 5.2% abv, it’s a nice summer
weight and is straw-gold in color. The nose boasts aromas
of sauvignon blanc, vanilla, honey and muscat grapes. It’s
a very clean, refreshing beer with a lingering hop bitterness
as it warms. Recommended.
La Blanche, Beer on Lees
Le Cheval Blanc, Quebec, Canada
Montreal’s White Horse makes some fine beers and is
truly one of Canada’s great treasures, so it comes as
no surprise that its wit beer is astonishingly good. It’s
cloudy straw in color with an unruly white mane for a head.
The nose is redolent of citrus, orange peel — and blossom
— banana, coriander and other fruits and spices. The
taste profile is nicely fruity with a little spiciness that
gives it a welcome complexity and a slight lingering finish.
Lagunitas Sirius, Hi-Gravity
Lagunitas Brewing, California
Many of the beers brewed by Lagunitas may be safely considered
unique, and the Hi-Gravity Cream Ale breaks many boundaries.
This beer is 7.6% abv and has 40.63 IBUs, which is about double
that of most cream ales. It has a deep golden color, a light
nose, a great creamy mouthfeel and terrific balance. It’s
a very clean beer with nice hop bittering. This will be an
excellent beer for the dog days of summer or for stargazing.
Midnight Wit, Ale Brewed with
Legacy Brewing, Pennsylvania
A terrific example of a Belgian-style wit, Midnight Wit is
a very pale straw color with a white head. It has complex
aromas of citrus, white pepper, coriander, grapefruit and
other fruits and spices. It’s simply “spot-on”
with wonderfully rich flavors, though perhaps a bit ramped
up. It uses 60% wheat and is 4.9% abv. Outstanding.
Moose Drool Brown Ale
Scape Goat Pale Ale
Big Sky Brewing, Montana
Big Sky’s pale ale is a very clean English-style pale
ale. It’s brewed with pale and crystal malts along with
Kent Golding and Crystal Hops. It’s a great example
of the style. The Moose Drool is a hoppier version of a brown
ale with a sweet malt nose. The flavors are similarly malty
with coffee, cocoa and toffee notes and a clean finish. Scape
Goat: Highly Recommended. Moose Drool: Outstanding.
No More Mr. Weize Guy Weizenbock
Valley Brewing, California
When you think summer beer, a bock doesn’t immediately
leap to mind, but Valley’s new weizenbock is surprisingly
refreshing, especially considering it’s 8.8% abv. It
has a vinegary nose with hints of fruit. The wheat comes out
in the flavor, with roasted malt giving chocolate notes to
balance a nicely sour quality. Recommended.
Pike Brewing, Washington
Recently reacquired by founders Charles and Rose Ann Finkel,
Pike Brewing has been infused with a shot of enthusiasm that’s
coming out in all the beers. The IPA is tasting terrific,
with a beautiful hop nose and nice balance. We’re eagerly
anticipating what the Finkels will be doing with Pike in the
coming months, and if history is any judge, we expect great
things. Highly Recommended.
Sly Fox Brewing, Pennsylvania
Pikeland Pils is a northern German-style pilsner brewed with
German pilsner malt and hopped with German and Czech hops.
Our sample was from the new 12-ounce can. This beer has a
very light straw color and a floral nose dusted with dry malt
aromas. At 44 IBUs, it’s bumping up against the roof
of acceptability for pilsners and is a big mouthful of hops
with peppery-hot spices. Still, it’s quite tasty for
those of us who love hop monsters. Recommended.
Samuel Adams Traditional Ginger
Boston Beer Co., Massachusetts
According to the press release, the “Samuel Adams Brewer
Patriot Collection honors our fine American brewing tradition
by bringing back historical beer recipes and by using many
of the same authentic ingredients the founders used.”
The collection includes Traditional Ginger Honey Ale, James
Madison Dark Wheat Ale, George Washington Porter and 1790
Root Beer Brew. We found the Ginger Honey Ale to be quite
interesting. It’s a light straw color with ginger, lemon
peel and honey aromas. The flavors are likewise very gingery,
giving it a very unusual taste profile. It’s quite interesting
as a curiosity and piece of history. For that reason, we rate
it as Highly Recommended.
Summer Soulstice Wit Beer
Valley Brewing, California
Though brewer Steve Altimari was recently laid up with an
injury, he’s continued to brew some fine beers, including
his new wit beer. It’s a cloudy golden color with yeasty
aromas and hints of citrus, marmalade and orange peel. It
has such big, full-bodied flavors that it’s almost like
we’d imagine an imperial wit might taste. Though perhaps
atypical for the style, it’s an amazing beer with a
lot going on. Highly Recommended.