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AUG/SEP 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

Anniversary Pilsner
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.

Hefeweizen
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.

Kölsch Bier
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. Outstanding.

Lagunitas Sirius, Hi-Gravity Cream Ale
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. Highly Recommended.

Midnight Wit, Ale Brewed with Spices
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 IPA
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.

Pikeland Pils
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 Honey Ale
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.

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