Sunday, November 27, 2011

Endeavour 2011 Reserve Amber Ale (5.2%)

Just been hanging out with Stew and Jarrod and went to our closest bottle shop to pick up a beer. This beer was as close to interested as I could get so I am writing up our thoughts while the boys get down to being funky with a jam.

This beer has a best after date on it, but unfortunately can not read what the date is, so not sure if I am drinking it too early. It has a dark copper colour, almost to a brown, and is relatively clear even though I found quite a bit of sediment on the bottom of the bottle, which I am not sure whether to mix in or not. What stops me is a pretty dusty, cardboardy aroma and back palate taste, which I am not sure a yeasty sediment would help. I am trying to let it warm a bit to see if this diminishes, but still ending up with a pretty dry mouth after each taste. My cynicism has me asking who is behind this Endeavour brand as the label looks a bit flashy, and have seen a connection to Fosters by one of the brewers....warning bells are ringing!

However, I do have to say I enjoy the use of chocolate barley malt in this beer, and that is heightened with warmth. The boys are focusing on this aspect to show they like the beer, but as you can see I am not truly convinced. Being a hop head, Jarrod is picking up the hops a lot better than me, and said he got a hit of like a Little Creatures Bright Ale fruitiness from the hop, but I am not really getting that. I am getting a slight bitter flavour (like a noble hop) from the back palate just the clean up the beer so there isn't a sweet residual aftertaste, so instead I get that dryness. There is a fair bit of body to the beer coming from the use of the barley malt, and while there is a bit of sweetness it isn't too syrupy.

Maybe I am just thinking too much about it (well, this is a beer blog), but mainly for the dry, almost astringent aftertaste I am not enjoying this beer that much, though I would have to say it is much better than the rest of the beers we could have been drinking from the Coles bottleshop we purchased it from.

Anyway, we also have some Bright Ale and I may dig into my stash to make sure we finish on a better note than this beer brings me. At least their tunes are helping me enjoy it a bit more...



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tasting with the Brewers

I have been lucky over the past week or so to get in a few tastings with the guys at Mountain Goat, and happy they have wanted me involved, as another palate to try out their beers, and some of Stass and mine.

Last Friday, the boys and I had an hour before the public came in to try out some of the range of beers, just to see how they are tasting in general. It is funny how often this doesn't happen, even when I am tasting them quite a bit when 'testing' for carbonation when I am doing a keg run. I guess it is nice to be able to just sit down and concentrate on the beer itself, instead of being caught up in an environment of getting work done, and focusing on one aspect. All in all we tried the Steam, Bock, Hightail, IPA, IPA through coffee beans in Randal, and the Rye IPA. It was also good to talk about what sort of beers would interesting for them to try out. I was particularly happy when someone brought up chocolate beers, as it allowed me to rant a bit over my love for them, and the fact I have not done very well at my own homebrew attempts at them.
But the guys did ask me about what homebrews I was doing, which got me thinking...

The opportunity came up this week to invite Stass along to Mountain Goat to do a days work on our bottling line. Seeing he is the keeper of the kegs from our homebrewing, I wondered if he could bring in some of out beers taste with the boys. He ended up bringing all our kegs into Goat, so once we had finally finished the bottling for the day, we have the Goat boys a taste of our 'Nuts about Coffee' Nut Brown/Coffee beer, my latest batch of Birra Dut Pekmezi (Mulberry Molasses Beer) and our latest Russian Imperial Stout. It was interesting getting the opinion of the boys to them. The coffee beer is getting a bit old now, but the nut flavours are coming through a bit more. Like I have said about this beer before, I would like less coffee to have allowed more of the nut brown flavour come through and balance it out, as now the coffee taste is not fresh against it. I am pretty happy with the flavours coming from the Mulberry, but just seems a little watery, so luckily I have some more mulberry molasses that I can add to it to bring it up a bit. The RIS is just about ready for drinking after nearly 3 months of aging in the keg. I think some more malt character up front could come through to bring more dark sweetness to the beer, but apart for that it is balancing up well and definitely has enough alcohol in it.
I actually had a bit of moment at one point when we had stopped for lunch. Stass and I were having a bit of a stretch at the entrance to the brewery when Cam and Dave came through, and there was a second where two brewing duos came together, one pair that have just been brewing in a backyard shed for the past 6 months (a bit step up to what we were brewing in before then), and the others having developed a brewery that has been around nearly 15 years. It was funny to see from that moment a few parallels that came to mind from it for me...but it could be one of those moments I go back to if Stass and I take this brewing thing any further than where we are now...

Then on Thursday, as I was trying to finish off a big batch of kegging (well, get halfway through it), I was invited for my second brewers meeting, where the big news was hearing that Danish gypsy brewer Mikkeller will be doing a brew with Goat (that has got me researching a bit and thinking about what could be done) next year, but also that they are putting together a job description for me so they can out me on permanent part-time. So there is much excitement all round.

With that said, after a big week of nearly 50 hours of physical labour, no matter how much anticipation may be on my mind, my body needs rest, and am content with the past week.



Bro's (Un)Bucks Beer Bonanza, but Bereft of Boobs

I have recovered with 11 hours of sleep to go with the 11 hours of drinking we did on Sunday. The pace was good, and the beers even better, so have been looking forward to reliving this experience on here.

After some dramas getting just getting to Southern Cross Station, we made it out to Woodend with time to check out the local market to find Mick a wig for the day before Harts pub (Holgate Brewery) opened. Of course we started the day with a beer paddle, trying all 8 of the beers on tap. As is tradition, our first taste of beer for the day was a sip of the Temptress, which while cold has some good qualities but nothing like it has when it gets warmer. Both the Pilsner and Mt Macedon Ale had much more flavour than I remember previously, especially with hop character, and found I actually enjoyed the Macedon more with a decent balance between malt and hop. Tim enjoyed the refreshing aspect of the White (Unfiltered Wheat) Beer, which was not over the top with the banana/bubblegum yeast character I am use to with this style of beer. If anything it was a little too flavourless, especially after having had the previous 2.
The sweet malt character of the Big Reg Marzen drew me in with its copper red colour and sweet caramel aroma and taste. The ESB was again contentious, as it still seems to be a watered down version of the original that I enjoyed so much. Actually, we heard from the staff that an original ESB had been available on the Friday before we arrived and run out that night (not surprisingly), still I just pulled out an old trick I learnt at Cascade Brewery and with a 3:1 ratio of the ESB with the Big Reg, found I could blend up what we thought was what the original ESB tasted like. With the UXB being an upgraded version of the ESB, the beer was too big to allow this blending to work for it, especially with the hop character, but like the ESB is still a bit thin on the tongue and need more malt character to balance it out better.
I also found myself a bit disappointed in the Road Trip, which had no where near the amount of hop character to taste like an American IPA. Ok, so I am naturally not a hop head, but still understand style enough to know this didn't fit the bill. The body was fine on it, but for some reason (old batch?) the hop flavour and bitterness just did not come through. After this, the Temptress (oh, it was on handpump too!!!) was at its best, and we lovingly sipped on this out in the sunshine...and then got two jugs of it to keep on enjoying it over lunch (I went the porterhouse with black pudding and the steak had a Temptress butter...hmmmm).
As we finished dinner I pulled out a bottle of the Empress (lucky I brought a bottle of it with me as they didn't have one at the brewery!) so for dessert we tasted this against its younger brother, the Temptress. The latter really loses a lot when drunk side by side with the Empress, which is just so much richer and deeper in flavour, and yet still has a amazing amount of balance between the chocolate and coffee, with 10% alcohol but retaining such good mouthfeel. Pure Quality! No wonder it is one of my favourite beers for this year. Of course, we pulled out Mick's wig while on the Empress, and I failed dismally to even try to improve on the Empress by blending some Temptress with it.

Feeling greatly content and buzzed we made it back to the train station. We left Woodend to head back into town, where we made our way to Beer Delux just as it was filling up with lots of Polish ladies (well, there may have been men but we weren't looking at them) with a Polish festival finishing at Fed Square.
Seeing the Korbinian on tap, I had to go that, whereas Mick went the Murrays Dark Knight and Stass hit the Dark Force. Joel brought things down just going a Stone and Wood Pacific Ale. Having had the others before, it was only the Dark Force that was something new. It had a lot of Extra Stout to it, almost to Russian Imperial, but the wheat character really lightened it up on palate to make it a bit easier drinking, so could be a good for those that find strong stouts a bit too cloying on the tongue. Of course, seeing I dig the Korbinian, a sweet cloying palate is not an issue for me.
Next round, I decided to try out the Monks Stout Dupont, and decided to step Mick up to the Rochefort 10, seeing he was a little disappointed with the Dark Knight. Joel I think stepped up to the Nogne Imperial Pilsner, which for me seemed to had a slight woodiness, and only way I could think of it was like some of the hop plant got in with the hops. Stass managed to find an even bigger beer than his previous with the collaboration beer Bitch Please, between 3 Floyds and Brew Dog. The sheer peatiness of it was enough, but at least the dark barley malt character was enough the heighten the palate a bit, even if it was a bit muddy with the peat...not to mention the alcohol. In someway it balances out alright overall, even if it is a bit over the top in many ways. That is probably the most impressive thing about it. My Monks Stout Dupont in contrast had very little malt sweetness, going more for a roasted character and not much else, and by that time, the 4.5% alcohol wasn't doing much for me either.
After that there was only one way I could see us going, and that involved a 750ml bottle of Chimay Blue. For most of us it was a step up, but not for Stass. While we were at Beer Delux, Brad and Seda stumbled in, and so happily had a couple of beers with us, and arm wrestled each other.

By this time, Mick and I had a parma craving, so we headed out to Richmond to hit a quiet Royston. I tried a Red Hill Temptation, which I found to be very flavourful for a Belgian ale, definitely one I would like to try again on a clean palate. Still, for the most part just enjoyed the classic parma that comes from that pubs kitchen, as we all reached that stage where we remembered we had work the next day.

Still, by the time the boys grabbed a cab and Stass and I made it back to my place, Stass wanted more beer, so pulled out a Brooklyn Brewery Local 1, which I have to say was pretty lackluster after the Temptation, especially as they are similar styled beers. Luckily by the point Stass was ready to call it a night before I had to go for the Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude to finally end any resemblance of taste buds we had left.

Anyway, safe to say work was not a very enjoyable prospect, or enjoyable in practice the next day. Well, I am happy to remember that much, so going to leave it at that. Thanks to Tim, Joel, Stass, Brad, Seda, and of course Mick for their involvement and input into the we just have the wedding to get through in a week and a half.



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Yay! A Drunken random Post...

Stass and I at my place listening to Midlake and Yo La Tengo and drinking Brooklyn Brewery Local 1 and about to crack the Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude...Happy bucks to my bro! We didn't see any boobs, but we drank some good beers over the past 11 hours, which I hope to talk about on here after I sober up and not enjoy the start to a new week at work...this may hurt. That is all. Sorry for wasting this post with drunken banter.

Stass is in the toilet, and taking a long time to come out...

I'll stop now.


PS: my chocolate fudge is tasting good right about now.
PPS: Sorry!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Trying to Remember Remembrance Day...and Recover

Look, I don't normally have big sessions nowadays (mind you, good weather is coming at the moment which does draw you into have a few beers), and as is always the way, when you don;t expect to have one, they tend to happen.

I had started the day really well for Remembrance Day. I had booked in to give blood at the Red Cross at 11:15, which meant after riding my bike into town on a lovely looking day, I could have my minute silence at 11am, seeing the city stop for a bugler playing near Bourke Street mall, before walking in to give blood.
Riding home I stopped at Mountain Goat to sort out work for next week before recovering at home with a good book (yes, it is about beer). Heading back into Mountain Goat early 'just for a couple', but after a couple with Crafty and Naz, it turned into more than a couple. With the Goat IPA going through Seven Seeds coffee beans in Randy, and getting a taste of it early when the beer had been steeping in the beans for a couple of days (tasted really good...and I don't drink was nearly as good as Stass' latest coffee beer attempt) I then stepped up to the Double Hightail (mistake) before Naz and I moved over to the Royston for a Moon Dog Pumpkin Porter (still roasty...actually, I think I saw the Moon Dog boys at Mountain Goat...and Damo [which reminds me, I need to ask Damo when we are sharing in our spoils from the Festival of the Frothy trivia night]) and then tried a Mornington Penninsula IPA (which I have to say, is probably the best beers I have ever tried from this brewer). Somehow I ended up back at Mountain Goat (ok, it isn't hard when it is just across the road). leaving there to go home, I saw Naz was at his place with a few of the boys, and so stopped in for one or two more before getting hit in the balls by his girlfriend and finally deciding to call it a night at 2am. Phew!

8 hours later I was making my way out to Stass' place to keg the beers I was trialing for my brother's wedding in a few weeks, and of course, this meant drinking more beers. Firstly, we had to finish a keg to have 2 that we could use to keg the beers, then there was tasting the beers while doing a final gravity reading. After that Stass decided he wanted to taste his coffee beer again to see how it is aging, then seeing he had a taste for roast we cracked open a Stone's Smoked Porter, which while went down a bit like barbed wire, I could still appreciate a good level of smoke that was balanced well in the beer...not as big as what I would expect from an American brewer.

With a bit of 'hair of the dog' in me, I made it back into the city and managed to do some chrissy shopping before heading over to Mick's place to trial the beers with him and Nicolette and have them chose one for the big day.

So, it is fair to say, I will be off the beers for today, and may only be keeping to one tomorrow after a bottling session at the Goat.

My apologies for connecting Remembrance Day to my conduct that night. It is only through those that have given what they have in the past that allows me to pursue the life I am leading today, and while it may seem that I do not appreciate it through this post, I do feel very fortunate for what I have, and to paraphrase Midlake, I realise my path in life is not solely my own.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hmmm...Mexican Beer and Bogans?

Last night we hit a mexican restaurant and of course reading the beer list didn't impress me that much. I wonder if Corona and Sol in Mexico is like Fosters in Australia; synonymous but not actually drunk in the country they 'come' from.

I have just finished reading a book on 'bogans' (generally meaning an uncultured person here in Australia [that is why it is quite unfortunate I have Bogan for a last name]) and one of the classic quotes to come from it reads as-

"the bogan enjoys beers that are brewed here [Australia] but are labelled as foreign to give the fictional imprimatur of international cool...the only genuinely foreign beer the bogan drinks tastes like cat's piss, and requires citrus-based assistance to enter the nebulous realm of 'drinkable'...Drinking a pale, watery version of beer somehow confers cultural cachet onto the bogan, purely because it is sourced from a Latin American country with many poor people."

-of course, they are talking of Mexican beer like Corona and Sol in the passage, therefore, at least my expectations were not high with the prospect of going to a mexican restaurant and having a beer.

Looking through the list, seeing a beer with 'amber' in the title, gave me some hope I may find a beer from Mexico that may be interesting to try, and not needing 'citrus-based assistance'. When the Dos Equis XX Amber came around, I saw at least it came in a coloured glass bottle, so felt a little more help the brewers are intending to keep sunlight for the beer, therefore making me think this beer might actually be worth something. I poured some into a glass to see what colour the beer was, and my first disappointment was seeing it barely showed much more colour than some pale ales I have tried. Upon tasting, there was not much more body than the lagers Mexico is known for, and while there is a little bit of sweetness with the slightly added malt character in the colour, it was generally pretty bland (surprise, surprise).

After that I had another look through the beer list, I saw the Negra Modelo and thinking Negra might mean 'dark', I thought I would give it a go. Well, it came in an even darker bottle than the previous (I wasn't going to be swayed twice by this), and the bottle was in an interesting shape (hmm, by now I was thinking 'the more effort in the package, the worse the beer inside may be'). Pouring it out, it actually resembled a dark beer, and while on the palate it still came out pretty thin (not the worst thing as it had been a warm day and didn't mind it as it didn't sit heavy in the gut), there was enough flavour to be able to taste it over the meal (of course, keeping with my blog name constituted mostly of beef) and there was some malt character to it.

Neither beers had many signs of bitterness or other hop character, and there was little lingering on the backpalate apart from some residual sweetness. They were both pretty clean beers so, inoffensive (unless you like more flavour in your beer) and easy to have a session on.

So, while I am literally a Bogan, unfortunately I do not enjoy 'bogan' beers. In fact, after having read the book 'Things Bogans Like', there were not many things in it I can affiliate myself to. I know, it doesn't make this post very funny. Ok, I'll stop now before I entertain you any less.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Brewing for my Bro, and Drinking With my Bro

After relaxing on Friday night, I had work to do the next day.
Heading into Brewcraft and trying the shop keepers golden ale 'with a bit more hops' (well, it was nearly midday), I grabbed some brew enhancer dextrose, some Hallertau and yeast, before Stass took me out to his place...and we proceeded to try all of our stock of kegged beer. Ok, we should have just got brewing straight away, but Stass was too excited to have me taste the coffee beer we will be putting up against Team Harrod next weekend. Then of course, I had to try it against the other coffee beer he made with the wattleseed we have been experimenting with recently...and then there was our previous mulberry molasses beer to see what I had to improve on with these next brews...then the homebrew Cooper's Pale Stass wanted me to taste to see if the alcohol really was as high as he had worked out from his final gravity reading...then the Russian Imperial Stout had its 2 month tasting to see if it was aging in the right way.

So with the hard part of brewing beer out of the way, we could just relax into actually brewing the two beers I was trialing for my brothers wedding in 4 weeks. Having picked up some mulberry and grape molasses during the week, I made up the two pots and ended up with 15 litres of each, which I to taste next weekend. Actually, the grape one was looking pretty good, and with a higher gravity reading, we may be able to get a bit more alcohol or body out of the beer which would be good, especially being able to take a grape 'beer' to a wedding of two people that enjoy there wine more than beer (yeah, I don't get why they would like wine more either).

Having finished with Stass and getting a lift home from Jess (lucky, as was feeling the effects of the hard work I had put in drinking before before brewing) I had enough time to sober up a bit before meeting up with my brother at the Royston for a very quiet parma and a couple of beers. Everyone must have been enjoying the good weather and cranking the bbq. So, with the pub basically to ourselves, we first tried the Moon Dog Pumpkin Porter. I have to say I couldn't taste any pumpkin, but then didn't really expect to. I assumed there would be a bit more body in the beer, and felt this was found to be correct. Where I was surprised with in the amount of roasted malt I could taste, and just how this lingered dryly on the back once you swallowed it. I can only think that maybe the brewers thought some sweetness may come from the pumpkin and so they felt the need to use a darker malt to balance it off.
With not much else on offer for a man who frequents this pub as often as I do, the only other beer I wanted to try was the Little Creatures 'Big Dipper' Double IPA. Maybe it was just I had already drunk a fair bit of beer during the day, but there was not a great amount of hoppiness of bitterness coming from the beer. It is probably one of the easiest drinking DIPAs I have ever had, so not sure if it has hit the mark. Hey, if I find it pretty low on hops, I can't imagine what a beer drinking that appreciate hops more than I would think.

On that, I get back to my relaxing Sunday, including reading more of a book on bogans (no, not my ancesters, but the Australia subcultural entity that is the 'bogan'. There are some hilarious aspects that come up with regard to a 'bogans' relationship with beer that I will have to share sometime.



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Situational Drinking 4 : 'After a Long Week' Wind down

Just what I needed yesterday, 10 hours of pushing a lawnmower around. Still I was ready for a beer or two at the end of it.

It seems like a month ago I was MCing for my cousin's wedding, but really it was only a week ago. After that, some more family events, trying to organise a home brew and a bucks party for my brothers weeding in a month, and even with a week of work that had one day off for a horse race, I still feel like I am in recovery mode from it all.

Heading to Mountain Goat last night, it only took two beers, but had the wind down I needed. While a week previously I was wearing a silly hat and talking to a room of a hundred people, last night I sat in a room full of hundreds of people, and didn't speak to any of them, apart from the bar staff to order my beer. And the beers I went for were to two highest alcohol beers I could get from the bar. It was funny though, while I have had the Bock and Double Hightail a few times now, last night I found myself quite sensitive to the texture of the beers, and in both cases, wishing they were less carbonated. I know I am normally susceptible to texture, but especially with the Double Hightail, I wished I was drinking it from a handpump to make it warmer and with less carbonation. It took me an hour and a half to drink them both, but with each sip the alcohol in them continued to relax me, and by the end was pretty content to just have the two, and just look up and seeing the cobwebs in the brewery's roofspace.

Ok, so in general I am a pretty quiet person, but last night and at the Two Birds Brewing Launch of their Golden Ale the night before, I found myself gravitating even more to a quite corner of the bar just to chill out and appreciate a couple of beers. For me it is a bit different from Situation 1, where there is more of a physical desire for refreshment from a beer, and is better if the beer is not too high in alcohol so you can drink it quickly. Even from the bushwalking in Situation 3, there is a real group environment seeing you feel that sense of physical isolation. With this it is more of a desire to just relax within yourself, think of all you have done, and then slowly let those thoughts leave you as the beer takes its effect.

Still (or especially), being within myself, I knew when I had had enough, and even the temptation of seeing Moon Dog's Pumpkin Porter wasn't enough to make me want another beer.

I really appreciate having had the bushwalk a couple of weeks ago, and if I thought it had been a month since last week, it felt even longer since I had been on the Great Ocean Walk. Anyway, I have had my little moment last night, and seeing it will be a month til things can settle down again, I may be having more moments like these. For today though I will be heading over to Stass' to trial some brews for my bother's wedding, and hopefully have a taste of the coffee beer we will be going up against Team Harrod in for our upcoming contest.



PS: I guess I should note that yesterday was also the 2nd anniversary of beerdakari, so I guess a little bit of contentment last night can be put towards that (maybe this situational drinking post is also a long 2 year wind down). Now I am really looking forward to that beer with Stass today. So after 222 posts (Richie Benaud's favourite number), a big thanks to all those that have made up the 5,500 views of the site, and those that have added their own two cents to my rambling thoughts and tastes on beer.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Two Birds Brewing Golden Ale Launch

So have just made it back from Beer Delux after a couple of glasses of Two Birds Golden Ale on tap.

Having been given a lovely badge to display to help me get their beer at the bar from Jayne (yes, a magic badge that gives me free beer!), who should I see at the bar trying to take a dodgy photo of his beer on his 'smart phone' but James. Having grabbed my first beer, we had a chat...of course, about the beer. To be honest, I didn't actually taste anything different from when I tasted it out of the bottle at the Microbrewery Showcase. However, their was more flavour from the keg. The spice was a bit more noticeable, and the malt body really held up well to give it a good mouthfeel. I guess the only issue from this is that it slightly loses a bit of its sessionableness, but makes it a great spring beer...finally, someone is having a beer launch with a beer appropriate for the season.

With a good sized crowd, and an appropriate day to launch a beer from all women brewing team (it is Oaks day down here, which in horse racing is Ladies Day), the beer went down pretty well, and the second one didn't last that long.

After such success of their first brew, I am looking forward to seeing where they to next with future brews. Bring it on Birds!



PS: I also heard today is International Stout Day, but seeing it seems to be a twitter thing and it is nearly summer here in the southern hemisphere, I am going to disregard, even though I am generally happy to drink a stout anytime of the year.

Grand Imperial Porter, Poland (8%)

After the big weekend I was happy to see the empty keg of Hightail Ale sitting in front of my bedroom door on Monday. Taking it back to Mountain Goat, I then filled it that day with more Hightail...and so the cycle continues.

Having taken it easy after such a weekend, it was only yesterday that I finally visited a mate that move to Melbourne a couple of months ago and had a beer with him, then proceeding to leave my keys at his place and finding trains to be a mess, I eventually got home ready for another beer. Luckily from last week's beer shop, the overcast weather led me to the Grand Imperial Porter, one that has been on the list for a while to try. It poured with a good amount of head, but this diminished fairly quickly. There is a definite red hue to the dark brown body, and while cold, chocolate sweetness and dark malt was all I could get in aroma. On first taste there is definitely a syrupy sweetness on the very front, fairly bland on midpalate before some coffee notes come towards the back and linger with some dryness. Unfortunately, after my experience in Germany with many syrupy, high noted/artificial sweet dark beers, sensing that here turned me off a bit, even if it is guided with a chocolate flavour, and with a rich body that coated my tongue completely in it.

At this point I could not help feeling a little disappointed, even if previous experience should have informed my expectations better. As it warmed up, and Stew and I listened to the new Wilco album and thought of Stass when hearing the keys part in one of the songs, the alcohol did come through a bit more in aroma and on the back of the palate. I probably enjoyed it a bit more as it warmed up as the dark malt come through a bit more too to give the beer a bit more depth. I guess it reminded me of the Asam-Bock I had the other day at The Local Taphouse, but instead of caramel high notes, this was chocolate, but both still with just enough depth in malt to make them enjoyable.

Now I am off to the Two Birds Brewing launch of their Golden Ale.