journal of a self proclaimed beer connoisseur

2 Pints

Beck & Co (ABInBev) – Becks

Date: Saturday, January 29, 2011
Brewery: Beck & Co (ABInBev)
Beer: Becks
Category: Premium American Lager
ABV: 4.80%
Brewed in: Germany

The beer is a pale yellow that is quite light for what is assumed to be an all malt beer.

The head is pure white and developed two fingers thick in my pilsner glass. Head retention was lacking and no lacing was noted.

The aroma is, to be honest, boring and skunky. There is a grainy smell with a stale hop presence. The dominant smell here is skunk. Damn green bottles…

The taste is smooth and crisp but again the skunky odors are making it up the back of the mouth and influencing the taste. I can barely pick up on the malt and the hop presence is faded and stale. The beer just does not taste fresh.

The body and carbonation are moderate and the mouthfeel is the best part of the beer. It does go down quite easily but without much else to be impressed by.

Very reminiscent of other euro lagers or mass brewed beers of the style. When picking from that lot I wouldn’t judge this choice but there are better beers of the style to choose from at an equivalent price point. Check out your local producers.

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Sleeman – Honey Brown Lager

Date: Saturday, January 22, 2011
Brewery: Sleeman (Sapporo owned)
Beer: Honey Brown Lager
Category: Dark American Lager
ABV:
5.20%
Brewed in: Canada (Guelph, ON)

I had this beer on tap at Devaney’s Irish Pub in Edmonton. A friend and I split a pitcher. The beer is a clear light golden brown and head pours a thick and creamy white – about two fingers. Retention and lacing are both surprisingly good.

The aroma is very faint and I am hard pressed to detect much of anything. I can smell some sweet malt. Despite how much I try I can not pick up on any honey.

The beer tastes very sweet and malty. I still don’t pick up on any honey although that might be what is causing the sweetness. I also taste no hops.

The beer is lightly carbonated with a light body. It is quite smooth.

There was nothing disgusting about this beer but there was also nothing stellar. I wouldn’t ever intentionally seek this beer out. When you are going to be drinking a couple pints and your other options end in “Light” or “Lite” or advertise their drinkability – this is a good choice.

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Sugar Bowl Cask Night – Alley Kat Belgian Wit

Date: Thursday, January 20, 2011
Venue: Sugar Bowl
Brewery: Alley Kat
Beer: Belgian Wit
Category: Witbier
ABV: estimated 5.00% (they didn’t tell us!)
Brewed in: Canada (Edmonton, AB)

I didn’t really take the time to seriously take notes on the tasting of this

beer because I was extremely thirsty and hungry after standing for an hour and a half to get a table. I was lucky there was still beer left in the cask! The Sugar Bowl is a great venue and this is a fantastic event but it was certainly pushing the limits in terms of capacity.

Anyway, on to the beer. The beer poured an extremely cloudy yellow. Belgian Wit beers are unfiltered so the cloudy was expected. The color of the beer was a bit of a surprise for me. It looked appetizing. The beer was brewed with orange and coriander so you can expect something a little citrusy.

There was a very frothy and foamy white head on the beer which left a lot of lacing on the glass. Retention was average.

The beer smelt of oranges, I really didn’t note a lot else.

You could taste the wheat beer base to this with a bit of the funky notes from Belgian yeast. The overpowering flavors were of oranges. The coriander was there but was subdued. I think the beer was a bit heavy on the oranges. It almost tasted like someone mixed some wheat beer with Orangina.

The beer was enjoyable but I think leaves some room for improvement. I did not order a second one but instead opted for a couple other beers off the Sugar Bowls extensive menu.

Reviews on those to come.

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Alley Kat – Charlie Flint’s Organic Lager

Date: Friday, December 31, 2010
Brewery: Alley Kat
Beer: Charlie Flint’s Organic Lager
Category: Premium American Lager
ABV: 5.00%
Brewed in: Canada

The appearance of the beer is appealing. It is a medium sparkling yellow. The head is white and fairly thick and consistent. Head retention was fairly short.

The aroma is reminiscent of a pilsner with a sweet touch to it. The hop aroma is soft and somewhat grassy.

The taste is malty at first with a moderate bitterness and a dry finish. The hops tend to linger. The mouth feel is smooth with moderate to high carbonation.

Overall this beer goes down very smoothly with a fairly understated flavor profile that would likely be just right for putting several away on a hot summer day.

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