Kostritzer Oktoberfest Beer

Kostritzer Oktoberfest Beer is a beautiful shade of orange, has a lively carbonation profile, flaunts it huge head and paints the sides of the glass with lashings of lace.  I’m gushing, I know.  It’s for good reason.  The bouquet is really nice:  malty, grainy and hoppy on the rusty, metallic side.  Kostritzer Oktoberfest is super smooth and velvety, with the taste of roasted carmel malt being closely followed by a doughy, grainy flavory and a finish with a touch of bitterness.  This is a great Oktoberfest beer, and one that I will revisit without a doubt.  My label was different than the one displayed here (thanks BeerLabels.com).  It has an attractive German bar maid.  One last thing:  the upper case K does not go with the following lower case letters.  I’m a typographer, I know.

90/100 Oktoberfest Beer

Let some steam off, Andrew.

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Hopmouth Double IPA

Get ready for this one folks, because Hopmouth is awesome!  Made by Arcadia Ales of Battle Creek, MI, this beer has great clarity, plenty of carbonation, a nice 1″ head and a deep amber color with a copper cast.  The hoppiness that comes off the head has a great floral, piney bouquet, notes of bread dough within, and an underlying, understated sweetness.  Hopmouth is full-bodied but not heavy, and rich, really rich.  The flavor…excellent!  The hops are not too intense or bitter, but very pronounced.  Lots of bready, grainy flavor in the very rich malt.  The finish is not too dry, not too bitter, and the 8% ABV is just icing on the cake.  Excellent beer!   95/100

Taking Liberties

I’m on a roll.  2 consecutive gold star beers in a row.  Today’s winner is Liberty Ale by Anchor Brewing Company.  Liberty ale is medium gold with lots of carbonation, a sparse-but-foamy head and graces the air with a hoppy, doughy essence.  The hops are not as strong as in an IPA, buth their presence is made known and well received.  It is an ale that is smooth and rich-feeling on the tongue, and decorates the mouth with just the right amount of hops-vs-sweet.    Plenty of lacing is left behind as the glass empties, and the finish is lightly sweet and slightly grainy, with the lingering hop effect escaping through the nose.  I’d call this an exceptional beer, originally produced for the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s (my ancestor, but that’s another ((long)) story) ride.  This would rank in my top ten if I were to make that list right now.anchor_liberty_ale

Cisk XS is Amazing.

Nothing but good things to say hereMore appealing than Richie Zisk.  It starts with that great pilsner bouquet as soon as the cap is popped, like the great Czech pilsners.  Light gold, good frothy head and light carbonation.  Again, the bouquet is amazing, and perhaps its best attribute.  Cisk XS Extra Lager is dry, hoppy, grainy and sweet, followed by an alcoholic sting.  I wish Gordon Sumner could hold his liquor.  The good quality of the body supports the head well.  It’s smooth and creamy on the tongue, substantial but not at all heavy.  The flavors are well-balanced, with neither the hops or the malt gaining the upper hand.  The alcoholic sharpness in the swallow gives this excellent lager a ballsy finish.  It’s a great beer.  Pair it with a pork roast and some starchy potatoes or dumplings.  Certainly the best thing to come out of Malta (not Malta, Illinois) since the falcon.  95 out of 100, get you some…but good luck finding it.  Check Binny’s.

More appealing than Richie Zisk

Two Brothers

I was quite excited to learn that Two Brothers Brewing in Warrenville, IL have opened a brewpub.  My friend visited and said the food was great, and the beer was greater.  I can vouch for the beer, being a big fan of Prairie Path, Cane and Ebel and Domaine DuPage in particular.  Those of us in the Chicagoland area and nearby midwestwern states are lucky to have access to such excellent brews.