Archive for the ‘American Amber Ale’ Category

This past Friday I flew from Sacramento to LA and was running a bit behind.  After two hours of rush hour traffic and a too long wait for the shuttle from economy parking, I made it to the gate about 15 minutes before boarding.  I looked around and right across from the gate was an airport bar featuring the beers of Pyramid Breweries.  Surely this must be a sign, I thought to myself and went over and ordered an Alehouse Amber.

It was a very hazy brownish orange.  The scant foam was likely a result of an indifferent airport employee who cares very little about a proper pour.  It smelled kind of fresh and spicy with a bit of fruitiness.  The spice continued into the taste with a good amount of malt and very subtle hops. It was a very drinkable brew.  I find it especially nice for pounding rapidly in an airport bar.

Today I’m drinking a Fat Tire Amber Ale from the New Belgium Brewery in Colorado.  It’s a translucent honey-gold with an off-white head that quickly fades but leaves quite a bit of lacing.  The scent’s an earthy malt with some hops thrown in.  The flavor’s on the mild side but has a pleasant caramel and malt tastes.  The hops are refreshingly light. (I live in California where the breweries seem to be in constant competition to get the most hops into their beer.)  The mouthfeel was fairly thin and watery, which is fine for a beer I’m trying to drink all night, but not very interesting.  Ultimately, if I were drinking several beers in a sitting, I’d choose this, but if I’m drinking to have an interesting beer experience, I’ll pass.  It’s not bad, but it’s really nothing special either.

This Amber Ale pours a great golden brown, slightly hazy with a sizable cream head that dissipates quickly.  There’s really not much to the aroma of this one.  I was kind of expecting more from such a nice looking beer.  It’s kind of sweet and tastes mostly of malt and caramel.  I’m kind of surprised to find a California beer so light on hops.  There’s really nothing too interesting about this beer.  It’s not complex, or weird or anything like that, but it’s a good drink.  If I want to drink a nice local beer that I don’t have to think about, this is a great option.

Censored

Posted: April 23, 2011 in American Amber Ale
Tags: , , ,

I ran into this at the local Safeway recently and decided to pick up a 6-pack. Censored AKA The Kronik is an American Amber Ale from the Lagunitas Brewery.

It’s a clear copper with short-lived off-white foam and quite a bit of carbonation.  The smell is deep and malty with a bit of caramel sweetness, but nothing too overwhelming.  It tastes sweet and malt with a little hop bite at the end that kind of hangs around a bit.  I’m really enjoying this beer.  It’s good without being too complicated.  A good beer to sit around and drink with some friends.  This beer should really be more popular than it is.

The verdict:  If you have the chance, try this beer!

St Arnold’s is a fairy small (29 employees) brewery on the north side of Houston, TX that has been in business since 1994.  They claim to be the oldest craft brewery in Texas, but in order to make that claim they must not consider the Spoetzl Brewery to be “craft.”  As I mentioned previously, the Spoetzl brewery has been open since 1909 and has brewed Shiner Bock since 1913, so St Arnold’s is already kind of on my bad list for discounting Shiner Bock as a craft beer.

This was the second beer I had in the Houston Airport during my layover last week and I was really hoping for a strong showing from this one so I could have an awesome Texas beer to brag about.  This is an American amber ale, a similar beer to an American Pale Ale but brewed with a proportion of crystal malt to give it a deeper color.   It was served on tap at the airport bar and was a clear orange/gold with about a finger of cream-colored foam.  I was really expecting a darker color from this beer; it was definitely the lightest amber I’ve encountered.  I took a good deep whiff of this beer and then had to check the patency of my nostrils to make sure I wasn’t congested.  Where’s the smell?  I got nothing on this one.  At all.  Weird.  The initial taste was light malt and citrus with a floral hop finish.  Hops are definitely the dominant flavor of this one.  Overall, it was light and bubbly.  Very drinkable especially if you like hops but don’t want to be punched in the mouth with hops by an IPA.  Not a bad beer.  Nothing amazingly special, but I’d drink it again.

Thanks for reading.  Comments are very appreciated!