Friday, September 02, 2011

Beer of the Week (Vol. CXIII)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the hard-working folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who have the skills to help you find the perfect beer, wine, or whiskey to hoist in celebration of Labor Day.

The approach of the Labor Day Weekend brings with it the unofficial end of summer. The leaves are starting to turn colors, the kids are back in school, and fall beers are starting to appear on store shelves. But before we psychologically close the book on another summer, there’s still time to enjoy the pleasures that make it special. And that obviously includes the beers of the season.

Kolsch is one of my favorite styles of lighter, easy-drinking beers. It’s not the most widely available style of beer and so I’m always happy when I get to try a new one. This week’s beer of the week is a Kolsch offering from the Alaskan Brewing Company: their Summer Ale.

Alaskan is a crafter brewer that not only puts time into creating an appealing label, they also offer background on each design:

Summer excursions on Alaska waters often include up-close encounters with a host of marine life, the most impressive being the killer whale or orca. Male orcas grow to nearly 30 feet in length with dorsal fins reaching upwards of six feet. The gray or white saddle patch found behind an orca's dorsal fin is a characteristic used to identify individual whales. In the same way, a cold Alaskan Summer Ale can identify individuals with an appreciation for great beer.

12oz brown bottle. Label has black band on top with brewery name in woodsy font and spectacular summer scene of an orca breeching in shallow waters in front of orange background.

STYLE: Kolsch

Alcohol by Volume: 5.3%

COLOR (0-2): Golden and crystal clear. 2

AROMA (0-2): Light floral hops with a little bit of fruit. 2

HEAD (0-2): Not much volume and light lacing. 1

TASTE (0-5): Grainy and grassy with some sweet malts and touch of hops. Clean and crisp. Light-bodied with a thin mouthfeel and good carbonation. Very drinkable and refreshing. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Dry finish with a little bitterness. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Alaskan’s Summer Ale is not an especially exciting beer, but it fits the bill if you’re looking for a summer thirst quencher. It goes down easy with decent taste and balanced flavors. Overall, I’d say it’s middle of the pack as far as Kolschs go. 3

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 13