Brews To Choose: Volume II

Round Two With Some Amazing Craft Brews

 It’s that time again! The second round of tasting opinions from around the world of craft brews. This week’s sampling include a pair from Colorado, Maryland, Idaho and a chance for redemption for a little brewery from Michigan. Once again, some were outstanding, and some were on the edge.

Mama’s Little Yella Pils

The Facts:

mamas

  • Brewed By: Oskar Blues Brewery Lyons, Colorado
  • Style: Czech Pilsener
  • Availability: Year Round
  • Distribution: Oskar Blues Distribution Map
  • ABV: 5.3%
  • IBU: 35

 

The Skinny

Oskar Blues is probably best known for their Dales Pale Ale, the exceptional IPA which was one of the first to make a big splash as a canned craft brew. Mama’s Little Yella Pils is a low alcohol, light on the bitterness(35 IBUs) Czech style session pilsener. I have to say this brew didn’t do much for me. In all honesty, I’m not a big pilsener drinker in the first place. I was hoping this brew from a brewery I have a tremendous amount of respect for might change my opinion. It didn’t have much in the way of big flavors, but, that was kind of the intent of the brew. It was a much fuller pilsener than the American versions that plague our shelves. This should in no way deter you if you are a pils fan from trying it, or any one of their other exceptional creations.

Rye One On

The Facts:

ryeoneon

  • Brewed By: DuClaw Brewing Company Bel Air, Maryland
  • Style: Rye IPA
  • Availability: Limited
  • Distribution: DuClaw Distribution Map
  • ABV: 7.0%
  • IBU: 55

 

The Skinny:

Before I start the review I should probably confess that I am originally from Maryland, and Duclaw has always been one of my go-to breweries when seeking outstanding innovative beers. But really, the review comes without bias(mostly). Most of whatDuClaw makes is unique and explodes with flavor sending the taste buds into a frenzy. This brew is dominated by citrus and piney hops, with just a slight hint of pepper from the rye. The flavors were a little more subtle than I have come to expect from DuClaw,and took the link between my brain and taste buds a minute to figure it out. Once the synapses started firing properly, the conclusion was, without bias of course, was this was another top-shelf offering. It has a little bit of everything, a little bit crisp, a little bitbitter and a little bit of spice.

Titan IPA

The Facts:

titan

  • Brewed By: Great Divide Brewing Company Denver, Colorado
  • Style: IPA
  • Availability: Year Round
  • Distribution: Great Divide Distribution Map
  • ABV: 7.1%
  • IBU: 65

 

The Skinny:

Titan IPA is a good blend of both piney and citrus hops with a well balanced sweet malty finish to it. Great Divide always brews solid beers and I certainly can’t say I’ve ever been disappointed in one. Titan IPA is no exception to that rule, but the one thing I find with most of their beers, Titan included, is they strike me as very “safe” for lack of a better word. That’s not to say that is a bad thing, but it didn’t do much for the “Wow, that’s a new interpretation” meter. If you’re a fan of the standard no frills IPA flavor, this one comes highly recommended. As with all Great Divide brews you won’t go wrong by picking up a six pack of Titan.

Bitch Creek

The Facts:

bitch creek

  • Brewed By: Grand Teton Brewing Company Victor, Idaho
  • Style: ESB
  • Availability: Year Round
  • Distribution: Grand Teton Distribution Map
  • ABV: 6.0%
  • IBU: 60

 

The Skinny:

Named after a local spring-fed landmark, Bitch Creek is as good a beer as the mountains that surround it are beautiful. This brew boasts some big malt flavors that are perfectly balanced by a strong hop presence. It takes a pretty good brown ale for me to get excited about it, and this one does just that. Grand Teton is another brewery that I have had the chance to sample several of their brews, and just about all of them have been impressive. If you come across Bitch Creek at the local beer store, it is a must try.

Two Hearted Ale

The Facts:

twohearted

The Skinny:

Once again Bell’s is on our list, after all, I had to give this great brewery a shot at redeeming itself after an unimpressive review last week. To be fair this wasn’t the first time I’ve had the Two Hearted Ale, so I pretty much knew what I was getting into. Using heavy doses of Centennial Hops throughout brewing and fermenting and balancing nicely with a malty flavor, Two Hearted Ale is off the charts. Along with a couple of their stouts,this is among the front runners for my favorite Bell’s brew.

And The Winner Is…

Well, technically I guess I am for having the chance to spend another week sampling great brews from across the country. As far as the beers go, I have to tip my hat to Grand Teton’s Bitch Creek ESB and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. Really I could put almost all of these under this category, but Bell’s and Grand Teton are the two that stood out in my mind.