Friday, July 15, 2011

Beer of the Weel (Vol. CVI)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the faithful folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who have the wisdom to help guide you to the promised land of wine, whiskey, and beer. When it comes to beer, Maharishi Mark is the new Glen Lake guru who can set you on the path to enlightenment.

So it finally appears that our short local nuisance is over as a deal to end the state government shutdown is at hand (maybe). And no, to reiterate once again, the return of the Beer of the Week feature is in no way related to that development. What have we learned during the two-plus weeks when Minnesota’s state government was partially closed for business? For one thing, the state has its fingers in a lot of areas that most people would never had suspected. One of these areas is beer sales. I would bet that most Minnesotans had no idea about such things as requiring brand label registrations (which lead to MillerCoors’ problems) or the now notorious buyer’s card:

When residents jaw on government for being excessively bureaucratic and backwards, this is probably a prime example.

What this amounts to is another $20 tax — or “user fee” if you’re a Republican. Either way, its purpose is clearly to generate revenue for no apparent reason. After all, why would someone have a liquor license, but not a buyer’s card?

The next time legislators look to cut government waste, they should look no further than this terrible system that seems to serve no other purpose than bureaucracy and red-tape.

Amen that that. I would hope that the shutdown sheds some much need light on all the little ways that the state interferes with commerce in Minnesota in ways that serve no purpose to its residents and creates unnecessary burdens for business. Okay, enough politics, let’s talk beer.

Our beer this week is another selection from Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Co. St. Lupulin:

A mystical legend echoes in our brewhouse – that of St. Lupulin (loop-you-lin) the archetypal hophead. He devoted endless summers to endless rows of hops, tending to the flowers and the beloved resin within – lupulin.

Extraordinary oils in this yellow resin provide this dry-hopped extra pale ale with an undeniably pleasing floral aroma and clean, crisp finish. One sip of this seasonal summer ale and you too, will believe.

Retails for $9.99 for a six-pack.12oz brown bottle with leaves engraved just below the neck. Label has a good tactile feel with high quality paper. The gorgeous design features the namesake saint walking through a pint shaped opening between hop vines. It would make a sweet poster.

Style: American Pale Ale

Alcohol by Volume: 6.5%

COLOR (0-2): Light gold, slightly cloudy. 2

AROMA (0-2): Strong citrus and pine. 2

HEAD (0-2): Bright white color, excellent lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): Well-hopped with pleasing grapefruit and pine flavors and lesser amounts of sweet bready malt. Not especially bitter. Slightly creamy, medium-bodied, and decently drinkable especially given the ABV. 4

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Smooth finish with lingering hop flavors. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Definitely not what you expect from a summer offering, St. Lupulin is a nice change of pace. Despite its noticeable hop characteristics, it’s always a refreshing beer that goes down well on a sultry summer day. It’s very well suited as a your backyard barbeque beer and would compliment steak, burgers, chicken and pretty much anything else you might want to grill up quite nicely. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 16