Friday, October 02, 2009

Beer Of The Week (Vol XXVI)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the fine folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who remind you that a glass a day keeps the doctor away. No wonder Atomizer is such a vision of health.

What do you think of when someone mentions Vermont? In the past, the name might have brought forth images of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, the battle of Saratoga, skiing, and maple syrup. Today, you're more likely to think about Howard Dean, Ben and Jerry's, and gay marriage. The relentless march of progress, eh?

But one think you probably don't think about--I know I didn't--was beer. While the New England area is renowned for brewing--Sam Adam's, Shipyard, and Smuttynose come immediately to mind--Vermont isn't a state that I associate with beer. Turns out though that the list of Vermont breweries is actually fairly impressive:

* Harpoon Brewery - Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, largest plant in Windsor, Vermont
* Long Trail Brewing Company - Bridgewater, Vermont
* Magic Hat Brewing Company - South Burlington, Vermont
* Otter Creek Brewing - Middlebury, Vermont
* Rock Art Brewery - Morrisville, Vermont
* Switchback Brewery - Burlington, Vermont
* Trout River Brewing - Lyndonville, Vermont

Other than Harpoon--which I've enjoyed on trips to Boston--I hadn't had a chance to try any of these Vermont beers. Until Glen Lake Wine & Spirits recently added Magic Hat Brewing's Number Nine Not Quite Pale Ale to their roster of beer.

Standard brown bottle. The funky orange & red label has a pronounced psychedelic feel to it. The design has a sort of ying/yang thing going for it too. I'm a bit of a beer bottle cap collector and Magic Hat's is nicely done (don't stare at too long or you'll become HYP-NO-TIZED). Judging from the look of the label and the vibe from the company's web site, Magic Hat fancies itself part of the counter-culture, which these days is more mainstream than anti anything. What else would you expect from Vermont?

Beer Style: Pale ale (or is it?)

Alcohol by Volume: 4.6%

COLOR (0-2): Golden and a little cloudy. 2

AROMA (0-2): Strong apricot scent. 2

HEAD (0-2): Bright white and full. Good lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): More apricot flavors with some nice hops to provide balance. Refreshing and crisp. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Light with some lingering bitterness. 1

OVERALL (0-6): Usually I am not a big fan of fruit flavored beers, but for some reason this works for me. It's not overly sweet or tart and is very drinkable. This is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. It's the type of beer that you'll either like or hate. There's not going to be a lot of middle ground here. Put me down on the like side. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14

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