Tag Archives: honey

Fargo Brewing Stone’s Throw

The Fargo Brewing Co. started in the wave of openings at the turn of the decade and characterise their rise as home brewers to pro brewers, with a distinct inspiration stemming from the pacific northwest. They started contract brewing in Wisconsin, opening their own brewery in Fargo in 2014.

Their Scottish Ale, aptly named from I assume the highlander games, has a nice moderate ABV of 4.5%, a welcome relief after so many in the range of five-plus. When I brew at home I aim for around the 3.8% – 4.3% range for most beers (imperial IPAs etc. obviously exceptions) as I find this best suits my palate and desires. Being in the United States is a constant experience of higher ABVs; you do get used to it.

This beer is copper-acorn colour with a plastic-y white head. It smells of apple and pine, a little pancake batter, a little sweetness. The mouthfeel is chewy and sticky like a wad of sap. Major flavours march in unison: honey, biscuit, butter, raisins, a touch of bitterness and no hop flavour. It’s all malt, all the way. Not a bad beer at all, it put me in the perfect mood to see a film at the historic Fargo Theatre.

And what a place that is! Independently owned, heritage architecture, cheap tickets and zero advertisements before the film screenings. OK, I’m getting distracted.

I bought a pint of this beer at The Boiler Room, Fargo, North Dakota. It’s a pretty straight-forward, subterranean bar with little to distinguish it, although it seems to put a bit more effort into its tap selection than its competition in downtown Fargo.

Spiteful Brewing Selfies Are For Wieners Double IPA With Honey

This beer comes courtesy of Spiteful Brewing, another outfit that started as the brainchild of two buddy homebrewers. Although it’s a Chicago brewery that started in 2012 I didn’t see them on any taps while I was in the city.

The Double IPA I tried has a really quite ridiculous name. It takes me back to 2006 – officially my “Year of the Selfie”. I took more selfies that year than ever before or ever since.

This beer is golden, quite light for a DIPA, with a seriously thick head. It’s like a growth of mould or something. Permanent.

The smell is very sweet pineapple, layered over warm wet towels, a kind of mildewy note, oddly sour. Weird but not a problem. Upon drinking a real honey punch presents itself first – thoroughly unexpected. Even though the beer says it has honey in it, I can count the number of “honey beers” I have had on one hand that have managed to impart honey character to the actual flavour profile; mostly it just comes through as dryness, or only in the aroma. But this big beer gives slick, almost boiled honey the front row seat somehow. I wonder how they did it.

The malt is hard to diagnose, being mixed in with the honey flavours. For a 9.4% ABV beer it is surprisingly dry; somewhat more expected from a honey beer, but still. 9.4% ABV beers do not tend to be this dry. This is a yum beer, far too easy to drink for its alcohol content. The four-frame comic on the label is also amusing and welcome. Interesting it assumes the drinker is male.

I bought this 9.4% ABV bottled beer from the Liquor Park “neighbourhood brewtique” and drank it at a house in Wicker Park, Chicago, Illinois.

Revolution Brewing Fist City Chicago Pale Ale

Revolution Brewing pride themselves on being Illinois’ biggest craft brewery.

They were founded by an ex-brewer from the now-defunct Golden Prairie and the now-macro Goose Island and have been growing since 2010 with an expansive presence across Chicago. I haven’t been to their brewpub in Logan Square but have heard good things about it. They provide a lot of ingredients information about their beers; a curse and an advantage. I tried their Fist City Pale Ale after a pleasant stroll along the Bloomingdale Line in early autumn – just managing to work a sweat up.

This beer is a sight for eager eyes: gold colour, clear with a touch of chill haze and a rebellious, fluffy head that stays glass down. The aroma is resinous, streaked with caramel and sweet orange. It’s a singular combination – the orange note giving it real character. On tasting a moderate to thick, silky mouthfeel delivers a creamy, dextrinous profile of pancake batter and citrus.

Hop character doesn’t push through and bitterness just offsets the malt, leaving the a thick honey aftertaste to wreak pleasant havoc on the palate. The bar described this beer as dry, but it’s not. Lies, all lies. No tip for you. I did leave him a tip.

Overall this is a pleasant pale ale, but more of a late than early autumn beer. Not sure I would choose it again in the heat, but no faults present – purely down to the recipe.

I drank this draught beer at the Northside Bar & Grill, Wicker Park, Chicago, Illinois. It’s a roomy venue with a lovely outdoor beer garden, friendly staff and at least seven televisions, probably more. All playing sport of course. Happy hour is 4-7PM weekdays for 1/2 price draught beers.

Brasserie Du Mont Blanc La Blonde

The Mont Blanc Brewery is in the French Alps and believes its beer to be “a rich and noble product”. The brewery also claims the local glacier water to be its main strength, an unusual pitch for breweries these days. The beer I tasted is best described as a blonde ale or Belgian pale ale.

This 5.8% ABV beer is a thoroughly clear yellow-gold and pours with no sediment. It has a busty head of froth that recedes very quickly, leaving little but attractive lacing around the edges. Its smell is toasted crusty bread with simple banana and a healthy dose of clove and musk stick.

At tasting a mildly fusel alcoholic note trips the tongue and sweet nutmeg malts accompany. These slightly spicy malt notes are finished with a sweet finish, almost cloying, in a medium thick mouthfeel reminiscent of diluted honey. Some spritzy carbonation helps offset this but it could do with a bit more.

I bought this bottled beer at Carwyn Cellars, Thornbury and drank it at home.