Friday, January 17, 2014

Beer of the Week (Vol. CLXXXIX)

Another irregular, at this point almost random in nature edition of Beer of the Week, sponsored as always by the orderly folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help you find the precise wine, whisky, or beer you need.

There are amusing series of videos on You Tube that compare how words sound in German versus other less guttural tongues.

As my colleague Brian “Saint Paul” Ward likes to say, “It’s funny ‘cause it’s true.”

Our featured beer is the first we’ve reviewed from Excelsior Brewing Company which is located just a stone’s throw (if you have a Nolan Ryan-like arm) from the shores of stately Lake Minnetonka. I grew up near Excelsior and when I heard that a craft brewery was opening up shop there I was excited. I’ve visited the brew house a couple of times and thus far haven’t been real impressed with the product. While the design of the brewery’s logo and look and feel of the web site is impeccable, the beer hasn’t held up its end of the bargain.

The name of our featured offering from Excelsior Brewing is one that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Bitteschlappe Brown Ale:

Heilige Kuh! Es ist die Bitteschlappe! Our traditional Munich style brown ale features a medium body with brisk carbonation and a Munich sweetness carrying the beer to a soft finish. The quintessential beer for your main course, enjoy with a savory steak or pork dish. Prost!

My German’s a little rusty, but I believe the name roughly translates as “Please slap me.”

220z brown bomber bottle retails for $5.99. Lake themed label with a dock and gulls.

STYLE: Brown Ale


HEAD (0-2): Tan color, good volume that fades quickly. 1

COLOR (0-2): Sharp brown and clear. 2

AROMA (0-2): Caramel and bready. 2

TASTE (0-5): Flavors of sweet roasted malt with caramel and toffee. Just a hint of bitterness. Smooth creamy mouthfeel with a medium body. The alcohol is well disguised and the beer is quite drinkable. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Very pleasant. 2

OVERALL (0-6): A nice brown ale. Flavors that are moderate yet tasty making it satisfying while refreshing. I tried Bitteschlappe at the brewery and it was by far my favorite then. And I enjoyed it again from the bottle. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14