Finding a beer that will you keep satisfied while keeping you grounded is the most basic interaction between beer and beer lover. The first swig of that “go-to” brew exhilarates the tongue and mind like nothing else. I know I’m not alone in this regard, and if you’re reading this, I’m sure you can sympathize. Given that we’re on the cusp of the holidays and a shload of big, heavy, spicy beers will be invading our bottle shops and our lives, I thought it’d be helpful to remind us all that, though the seasons for beer may change, there are plenty of “go-to” beer styles that are timeless and will work for you any time of year. Drinkability knows no season, and November’s reviews reflect diverse flavor profiles while keeping shit simple and down to the point.
Brewery/Brand: Roosters Brewing Co.
Serving Style: 500 ml Bottle
Description: Poured from its attractive 500 ml bottle, we have a bright -golden straw color with just a slight cap of foam on top—I would have liked to see a little more soapy head. Wheat beers are not normally hoppy, but this one has a fair amount of floral and citrus in the nose. The flavor starts with a bit of honey sweetness that’s balanced nicely with dry wheat crackers. The end is slightly sweet, with notes of pale malt. The finish has a touch of banana and clove—crisp, clean and drinkable.
Overview: This is the fourth and newest bottled release of Roosters’ relatively new “High Gravity” line of beers. It takes their standard 4% pub wheat beer, Bee’s Knees, to a whole new level.
Emerson Avenue Pale Ale
Brewery/Brand: Squatters Beers
Serving Style: 22 oz Bottle
Description: This seasonal pale ale pours a murky, deep amber color with a sturdy two-and-a-half fingers of beige foam. I would have liked to see a brighter/clearer beer. The hops in this beer really pop. The nose is floral with light citrus and berry notes—clean, toasty malts are also present. The taste starts bitter with grapefruit/citrus, and flowery hops are also noticeable. The toasty malts crash through for just a bit, but then the bitterness comes back to linger in the end atop biscuity malts. The finish has a nice balance of toffee and hop resin.
Overview: This beer was made from the award-winning recipe of homebrewer Tommy Lopresto, and was brewed under the guidance of Squatters’ head brewer Jason Stock for entry into the Great American Beer Festival’s Pro/Am Competition. Local award winners at the GABF included a bronze for RedRock’s Paardebloem, bronze for Uinta’s Sum’r, silver for Wasatch’s White Label, silver for Squatters Fifth Element and a gold medal for Hopper’s Helles Festbier.
Flipside Red IPA
Brewery/Brand: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Serving Style: 12 oz Bottle
Description: While visually similar to a pale ale, this red ale has a very different aromatic in its flavor profile. The nose is mostly tropical fruit with a little bit of pine. The flavor starts with caramel and berry flavors. There’s no fruit in this beer—it’s just a trick this particular style of malt plays on the tongue. Slight chocolate notes come next. They mingle quite well with berry flavors. The end is full of bittering hops, which round out the beer quite nicely. It finishes semi-dry.
Overview: Even though Sierra Nevada has become one of the largest craft brewers in the country, they’ve still managed to keep their “craft soul.” This beer won’t disappoint.