Friday, August 09, 2013

Beer of the Week (Vol. CLXXXII)

Another edition of Beer of the Week sponsored as always by the smoothing folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help you find the wine, whiskey, and beer you need to calm the most jagged of nerves.

This is the time of year when we typically witness an outbreak of hysteria in these parts. It’s caused by the sobering realization that our glorious days of summer are indeed numbered and that number is dwindled rapidly. I like to call this SSAS or Summer’s Slipping Away Syndrome. Its symptoms include:

- Freaking about because it’s almost time for the kids to go back to school

- Freaking out because it’s almost time for the State Fair

- Freaking out because the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder

SSAS seems to especially prevalent among Minnesotans this year after enduring a winter that never ended and a spring that never began. But rather than fret over or fruitlessly try to fight the change, we might as well just embrace it, enjoy what remains of summer, and appreciate the splendors of autumn.

The cooler nights for example are well suited for quaffing richer, heavier beers that we typically eschew during the height of the sultry summer. Beers like Midnight Ryder from Indeed Brewing Company in Minneapolis:

Midnight Ryder – a hat tip to Bischoff’s son, Elliott Ryder – is cloaked in mystery and full of surprises. A style of disputed origins and merit, American Black Ale puts a distinctly American twist on the India Pale Ale with five varieties of malt that give this dark beer a medium body and a complex array of flavors including caramel, chocolate and a smidgen of roast. Sealing the deal are six varieties of American-grownhops added throughout the 90-minute boil (Willamette, Cascade, CTZ, Warrior, Summit, and Glacier,. This beer offers a resinous and piney character with just enough citrus to bring balance at the finish line.

Six-pack of 12oz cans retails for $9.99. Another Indeed design with a fin de si├Ęcle feel this time with a top-hatted, curly-mustachioed chap sporting both a top hat and monocle riding a bear-who also has a top hat and vision aid-and drinking a cup of coffee.

STYLE: American Black Ale

ALCOHOL BY VOLUME: 6.5%

COLOR (0-2): Deep black. 2

AROMA (0-2): Toffee and chocolate blend with citrus. 2

HEAD (0-2): Tan color. Thick and foamy with loads of volume. 2

TASTE (0-5): Like the aroma a zesty combination of hoppy bitterness and roasted malts. You get flavors of pine, citrus, chocolate, and coffee. The body is medium to heavy and it definitely more suited for sipping than slamming. Mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery. 4

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Lasting flavors of coffee and bitter. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Another good effort from Indeed to go along with their other flagship offering Day Tripper Pale Ale. Midnight Ryder is a tasty amalgamation of bold flavors that strikes the right balance between roasted malts and hearty hops. Summer’s end may indeed be imminent, but Midnight Ryder will smooth your transition. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 16