domingo, 23 de diciembre de 2007

Bell's: another pearl of the midwest

Brewery: Bell's Brewery

Michigan, US

In a previous post I encouraged you to visit the Ann Arbor Brewing Company. Another pearl of the US Midwest is the Bell's Brewery. Bell's has been brewing beer for around twenty years and its production has grown remarkably from a microbrewery to a nationwide brewery.

While in Ann Arbor I tried some of their brands. I particularly recommend their full-bodied ales. I offer key information on two of their ales and their very popular lager beer next (

Oberon Ale
An American wheat ale brewed with Saaz hops. Spicy and fruity, Oberon is the color and scent of a summer afternoon.

Original Gravity:1.057
Alc. by Vol.:5.8%
Dates Available:Summer Seasonal

Pale Ale
A refreshing, blond colored pale ale. Bell's pale ale is made almost exclusively from pale malt. It expresses a spicy floral hop aroma and taste.

Original Gravity:1.05
Alc. by Vol.:5.2%
Dates Available: Year Round

Lager Beer
As refreshingly crisp as a morning swim in a Great Lake, this brew is crafted with Pils and Munich malts. The pronounced hop character of this golden lager sparks thoughts of sandy beaches and rocky islands.

Original Gravity:1.05
Alc. by Vol.:5.0%
Dates Available: Year Round

The bottom line is: I am not a big fan of lagers, but if you are in the Midwest, you cannot miss Bell's ales.

domingo, 2 de diciembre de 2007

Ann Arbor Brewing Company

Brewery: Ann Arbor Brewing Company

US (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Before coming to Ann Arbor, I had heard it was a cute little city, and now I know why. For its population size of about 120 thousand, cultural activities, bookshops, international restaurants, and coffee shops greatly exceed your expectations. Beer breweries are not the exception.

I visited yesterday the Ann Arbor Brewing Company Pub and tasted their brewed beers with my critical tongue. I introduced myself at my arrival, mentioned the blogsite project and my interest in beer reviewing. I know this is a very recent idea and this is my first post, but I guess I am excited about this new project. The attendant kindly referred me to the bar tender.

- Which is the most popular beer in the house – I asked her.

- Well, it would be the Sacred Cow, but unfortunately we are out of it – the bar tender replies.

I also explained her about our project, that we are traveling around the world making beer reviews. This is of course an exaggeration but I would like to believe that. She seems interested and brings two samples of their tap beers: German Alt and Scottish Ale. They are the most frequently ordered beers after the Sacred Cow. I decide for the first one. I normally dislike a dark ale, but this has been an exception. The German Alt is not heavy or bitter, it is surprisingly easy to drink. Highly recommendable, especially during the winter season.

The Sacred Cow, which I had tried before, is a India Pale Ale that makes a rich balance of malts and tangy hops. Very refreshing and delicate, definitively a beer you want to try. 80 Shilling, the Scottish Ale, was too light for me, perhaps I just don’t like the style as it is the first time I tried it. The Brassiere Blond, was one of my favorites. It is the beer’s champagne, as they describe it. A delicate mix of sweet orange peel, spicy hops, and zesty coriander.

They also offer a strong beer selection. I had the Terminator Dopplebock and eventually gave me a buzz or almost terminated me. So my friends and I moved to another bar :).

The bottom line is: if you are like me and visit the midwest, try the Sacred Cow, German Alt, and Brassiere Blond and you may want to terminate your night with a Terminator Dopplebock.

jueves, 29 de noviembre de 2007

Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale

Brewery: Alexender Keith (Labatt)
Canada (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

For my first post I would like to write about one of my favourite beers, Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale. The Alexander Keith brewery which is located in Halifax Nova Scotia (now owned by Labatt) also brews Keith’s Amber, Red and Light… but for the purposes of this post we will just refer to the traditional pale ale as Keith’s (we will probably cover the other latter).

When I went to school at UNB in the Canadian province on New Brunswick, Keiths was my beer of choice, and even to this day when ever I am in Canada and find myself in a liquor store I shoot straight for the Keiths. Keiths is not a heavy beer, but is by no means light. The alcohol percentage is of 5% thus making it a little weaker than many other famous Canadian brews and India pale ales in general (there is some debate regarding if it actually is and should be called a IPA)… but please don’t let this discourage you.

If you would like to learn a bit more about this great Canadian beer, and the guy who started it all you may want to check out these links:

The bottom line: If you find yourself in Canada and want a smooth beer with very little after taste, Keiths is your best bet.

Keith has also made a few fairly decent TV spots over the years, most of them can be found on youtube.