Friday, April 09, 2010

Beer of the Week (Vol. L)

Son: Wow dad, you must have reviewed like fifty beers of the week by now.

Dad: Nothing to be proud of son...

[pauses as son walks away]

Dad: [proudly]...Fifty beers...

Yes, believe it or not, this is the fiftieth installment in our Beer of the Week series. When Dan, the owner/operator of Glen Lake Wine & Spirits first suggested the idea of a weekly beer review, I doubt if either of us would have imagined that it would continue this long. But we're still going strong and with new beers coming onto the market almost every week, I don't see why it won't continue for the foreseeable future.

While I know that a lot of our readers don't live anywhere near the store, I would encourage those in the area to stop by Glen Lake Wine & Spirits when you get a chance. For a small, independent businessman like Dan there isn't going to be any government bailout to help him get through these tough economic times. In fact, with the increasing burden of regulation and the prospect of higher taxes right around the corner, it's probably tougher than ever to run a small business. His livelihood is solely based on the patronage of thirsty customers like you and he wants to do whatever he can to earn your loyalty.

Now, I'm not saying you have to do all your booze buying from your friendly neighborhood liquor store. I occasionally patronize some of the local chains (with the notable exception of one with an acronym name whose data collection polices have caused me to boycott their stores entirely for the last seven, eight years) and there are times when filling your liquor needs really is all about location, location, location. But one thing you should never do is shop at the municipal or "muni" liquor stores. What business the government has in being in the booze selling business in the first place is beyond me. But what's really appalling about munis is that they don't have to operate under the same regulations (many that are relics left over from the immediate post-Prohibition era) that privately owned liquor stores do. Government monopolies competing against private business on an unlevel playing field? Pretty easy call to make on whom you should support.

Okay, enough with the preamble. Let's get down to the business at hand. This week's beer is a newcomer to the Twin Cities market. Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon has been cranking out quality craft beers since 1988. But it was only of late (as in the last few weeks or so) that any of their product could be found on local shelves. We welcome Mirror Pond Pale Ale to Minnesota and hope it's a prelude of more to come.

Brown 22oz bomber bottle. Label has a tan background with oval picture depicting a glass-surfaced pond in the foreground and snow-capped mountains in the background.

Beer Style: American Pale Ale

Alcohol by Volume: 5.0%

COLOR (0-2): Dark gold and clear. 2

AROMA (0-2): Pleasant floral hops. 2

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

TASTE (0-5): Nice combination of moderately bitter hops with sweetly mellowed malt flavors. Light to medium-bodied with a slightly oily mouthfeel. Very drinkable. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Smooth yet tasty. 2

OVERALL (0-6): A very good example of an American Pale Ale. The flavors are subtle, but well balanced and rounded. Even though it came from a bottle, it had something of the taste and feel of a draft to it. The drinkability and smoothness make it a great summer ale option. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 15

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