Friday, October 14, 2011

Beer of the Week (Vol. CIXX)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the knowledgeable crew at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help you navigate your way through the world of wine, whiskey, and beer.

Among the crop of craft brewers that have emerged on the local scene in recent years is Flat Earth Brewing Company from Saint Paul. Flat Earth started up operations in 2007 and we were able. interview owner Jeff Williamson on the NARN First Team radio show in December of that year. It’s good to see that Flat Earth is still kicking out the beers, which have recently become available at Glen Lake Wine and Spirits.

One factor that I believe has limited Flat Earth from achieving greater prominence is that its beers are only available on tap, in growlers, or in 22oz bomber bottles. The true craft beer fans are used to consuming their product in such manners, but more casual drinkers might find them less approachable. We’ve long been conditioned to buy our beer in multi-pack single serving bottles and cans and it can be difficult to break out of that mindset. It also limits the venues where your beer can be served. For example, Target Field has a pretty decent selection of local craft beers, but they’re selling 12oz bottles, not 22oz bombers. I doubt if Surly would enjoy the same level of popularity if they didn’t off their beer in four-packs of 16oz cans (a slight variation on the traditional six pack, but pretty close).

I hope that Flat Earth is soon able to expand and offer their beer in some multi-pack option. Until then, we’ll drink ‘em as we can get ‘em. This week’s beer is Flat Earth Brewing’s Angry Planet Pale Ale:

This brew is a good example of what happens when old mother nature gets mad. Angry Planet is made with organic American 2-row, C60 and Munich malts. Featuring Cascade hops, with a large dry hop addition. An aroma of citrus and light toast. A nice flavorful punch of citrus hop is balanced by slight caramel sweetness and plays off on the hop bitterness. Pairs well with yak momo, pizza & pad thai.

22oz brown bomber that retails for $3.99. Label has raging red background with a cartoonish snarling planet that looks none too happy and is saying “Da earth ain’t yer mudda!” and “Put ‘em up!”

STYLE: Pale Ale

Alcohol by Volume: 6.0%

COLOR (0-2): Reddish copper color that’s mostly clear. 2

AROMA (0-2): Malts and tangy hops. 2

HEAD (0-2): Lots of volume, off-white color, and good lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): Follows the aroma with sweet caramel malts mixing with citrusy hops. Somewhat more skewed to the hop side, but not overly so. You pick up a little heat as well at the finish which has an unusual bitterness to it. Mouthfeel is watery. It’s well carbonated and medium-bodied. Pretty drinkable. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Good follow through. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Not your typical pale ale, Flat Earth’s Angry Planet has a unique flavor profile. It’s a little off-putting at first, but grows on you over time. It’s a decent beer that I’d be willing to try again, but not one that I’d go out of my way to seek out. 3

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14