Wednesday, July 7, 2010
This Is What I Drink : 53
Baltimore Beer Bundle
I was down in Baltimore a couple weekends ago and enjoyed a few brews as any good weekend will entail. Keep in mind that only beers #1, #3, and #5 actually have Baltimore connections, but the others were there, so they're included as well. Let's get to it!
Brewer's Art Resurrection
This one was brand new to me. I had never even heard of the brewery before this despite it just being an hour away or so down in Baltimore. I couldn't resist the idea of another microbrew in a can, so some us split the cost of this 6-pack. This is definitely the first Belgian style "dubbel" that I've ever had in a can and it's a pretty great experience. It has all the interesting notes you expect from a Belgian (fruity, sweet, hoppy, spicy), though I'm not so great at distinguishing them. A fun experience to have this beer out of a can.
Leinenkugel Summer Shandy
This is another one that I've seen often but never tried. A friend brought it to the mix so I tried one over a "friendly" game of Mortal Kombat. Shandy is typically some kind of beer mixed with lemonade and this beer definitely lived up to that description. This is a very good beer for summer, but it ends up feeling like you aren't really drinking beer. It's very light and refreshing if that's what you are looking for, but I don't get enough of a classic "beer" taste from this as the lemon overpowers almost everything. I think you've got to be in the right mood for this.
Baltimore-Washington Beer Works' The Raven
I'm glad I was able to drink a beer called "The Raven" in Baltimore. It's pretty much the only reason I even remember that I was there! I'm really glad I gave this one a shot. The restaurant was also serving Dogfish 60 Minute IPA which would have been the safe choice, but the Raven rivaled the dog. We actually sipped both the Dogfish and the Raven side by side and they tasted rather similar. It had me wondering whether the waitress just poured us all the same beer. The 60 Minute IPA maybe had a little more kick to it, but the Raven held its own to one of my favorites.
Genesee Brewing Co.'s Dundee IPA
This is from the same folks at the Genesee company whose famous Cream Ale made an appearance in my "Rochester Beer Explosion" a bunch of posts back. This is their craft brew side of things, and the quality definitely improves big time over their flagship beer. We can start off appreciating the neat bottle art, and then finish by appreciating a pretty good beer. You'll have better IPAs and you'll have worse, but the Dundee definitely hits all of the right notes. The hops, the bitterness, the citrus kick, it's all there at a nice 6.3% ABV as well. It's nice that you can go to this if you're tired of chugging down the Cream Ale night after night.
National Bohemian Beer
This is basically Baltimore's version of Genesee Cream Ale or PBR. I actually noticed that Pabst actually brews this stuff, so that makes sense. I don't have much to say about the taste because there's not much that differentiates it from some of the macrobrews that I've talked about, but it's always good to have the local version. They have the beer's mascot in the bars around and if you're going for a cheap can at the bar, you've got to go with a "Natty Bo" (which is how I would say it if I was more comfortable with myself.) A friend actually was laughed at for calling it by its full name at the bar, but hey, we were tourists.