Greetings my little Beer Bombardiers! I’m writing this from the heart of hurricane Sandy. Yes, from my makeshift storm center/pillow fort on my couch, decked in rain galoshes, sweats and a Slayer hoodie I am documenting all the beer action this month and praying I finish this article before we lose power. I feel more like a character in the show Dangerous Catch (a seaman, if you will) than a beer writer, but nevertheless I must report the brews! So here we go DC, Rock me like a Hurricane!
This month my boss and I crashed the Widmer Brothers Explore Your Craft event (www.exploreyourcraft.com) at the Long View Gallery (1234 Ninth Street NW, 202-232-4788. www.longviewgallery.com) where “beer lovers and art lovers alike joined in an extravaganza of beer tasting, wonderful food pairings, music and art, as well as some impromptu brewing lessons behind the gallery.” (See our gallery online by Erika Horn.) Surrounded by the who’s who of the DC beer scene I crashed the beer tables like hurricane Sandy–one might call my beer guzzling prowess a storm surge! Here are the highlights of all the great Widmer beer goodness I tasted:
Hefeweizen, 4.9%: American style crisp, wheaty/citrusy Hefe–the standard here as far as I’m concerned at Widmer. Been drinking these at my office all week since. Rating: Hefe Yeah!
Rotator IPA – Falconer’s IPA, 7%: Named in tribute to Master Brewer Glen Falconer this IPA is full of bready malt and citrus (grapefruit/orange) hoppiness using his special “flight hops” with a bitter finish. Real Hoppy treat! Rating: Hip HOP HOORAY!
Drifter Pale Ale, 5.7%: Piney/Citrusy hop bitterness that leads to a dry finish—very watery/thin, so easy drinking. Rating: Pretty easy drifter to pick up…better than the bar skeez you’re used to. Just prepare for the citrus aftertaste!
OKTO Festival Ale, 5.3%: A clean finishing seasonal Oktoberfest brew with light malty caramel sweetness. I really liked this one with its crisp finish! Rating: OktoPROST!
Nelson Imperial IPA, 8.6%: Sweet Boozy Citrus American imperial double IPA. New Zealand’s Nelson Sauvin hops pack a punch but not too heavy for an imperial IPA or as boozy as you’d think. Rating: Nel-yeah-son! (Haha…it’s a stretch, I know).
Pitch Black IPA, 6.5%: American Black ale with generous doses of Alchemy and cascade hops. Dark chocolate and burnt caramel taste with citrus and pine notes—sweet tasting. Rating: Pitch perfect!
Milk Stout, 7.6%: Coffee tasting chocolate malt with overriding lactose sweetness from the residual sugars—roasty charcoal taste at end. Rating: Beer Milk that’s good for your sugar tooth!
Embalmer Barleywine, 10.2%: Malts and bravo hops create a sweet interesting beer concoction—almost tastes like a hoppy IPA more than a barleywine! Rating: Doesn’t taste boozy, but it will definitely embalm/impair your senses if you’re not careful!
SXNW Dark Ale, 9.3%: Strong American dark ale with Chilies, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Spices and toasted pecans. A lot going on here for interesting ale. Rating: Tongue tied my taste buds—definitely a weird good one if you’re into something different.
Barrel Aged Brrrbon 2012, 9.5%: Winter seasonal with smoke flavors from the barrels—full of hops and malts with a kick. Rating: Smoke show!
Marionberry Hibiscus Gose 5.5%: Oregon grown marionberries and dried hibiscus flowers create a Funky wheat and sweet tart berry taste with hints of clove, coriander and salt. A truly unique and bizarre beer. Rating: “Marion Bearable” if you like the sours and funky wheat beers. A bit sour/salty for me.