I’ve never been a fan of sour ales but 2012 seems to be the year for saisons (aka farmhouse ales). Quite a few different breweries are producing these extremely sour beers. So despite by bad past experiences I decided to give the Saison Du BUFF a try. I’ll do the review first then explain a bit about saisons and the story of BUFF.
This is one of the most interesting and complex beers I’ve had the opportunity to try. La Trappe took a Belgian Quad, already one of my favorite styles, and let it mature in old whiskey barrels. This resulted in something amazing…
When I first had Chimay’s Grande Reserve I didn’t know what an ale was and certainly had no idea of the history behind the beer I loved so. Now I know all kinds of things about all kinds of beer, but what made Chimay an “Authentic Trappist” ale still evaded me… until now:
The official grand opening of Rivertown’s tap room occurred yesterday, and I was on the spot for the event. Their location is pretty convenient from the highway. Don’t let the neighborhood fool you; you’re on the right path. Keep an eye out for their sign on the left side of the road and go about halfway down the building and you’ll find plenty of parking. It can be a bit tricky to find but isn’t bad at all.
Once you get there, you are in for a great deal. It’s $5 for a tour, a Rivertown pint glass (see below), and a pint of beer
(in a plastic cup, not the glass, though) this has changed since Rivertown installed a 3-sink system. Again, all that for just $5. I don’t want to sound like (too much) of a shill for Rivertown, but seriously folks. Most pint glasses run you $5 anyway, a decent beer at a good bar/restaurant will probably be more than $5, and most brewery tours that I’ve been on are free. So it’s a $10 value for half the price. It’s hard to get a good picture of the pint glass empty but wait a day or two for my review of the Hop Baron and you’ll see it full. 🙂 It’s a great looking glass, though.
The taproom is a small bar area right in front of the brewery. It’s a very nice bar with a couple of stools, a bench or two scattered around, and another small table off to the side. But you don’t care what it looks like; you’re here because you like beer, good beer, and my next picture will wet your whistle for that!
I accidentally cut off the Helles in my picture, but it’s just above the Dunkel on the list. So don’t anyone fret that they didn’t have that on tap! I’m not going to get into an in-depth review of the beers I had there, but the Hop Baron, Helles, and Roebling were all far more delicious than I’ve ever had from a bottle before. The Roebling here is also on a nitro tap (the taller weird looking one all the way to the left) which gives it an amazing smoother (compared to the bottle) taste with a much creamier mouthfeel.
The last thing I’ll leave you with is that they also fill up growlers (which quite a few people were doing Friday night, including myself). The pricing varies for different beers, and I don’t recall them exactly. Suffice to say I have a growler full of Hop Baron in my fridge that I’m psyched to review for everyone’s reading pleasure!
The taproom is at 607 Shepherd Drive, Unit 6 Cincinnati, OH 45215. Their hours are Friday 5:00-10:00 PM, Saturdays noon-10:00 PM, and Sundays noon-6:00 PM.
Monk’s Blood is kicking off a series of posts for me which are all focusing on Belgian Ales. I’m going to work my way through most of the Trappist ales and anything else I can get my hands on that says “Belgian” on it! I’m also going to do another one of my L.A.B. posts about the whole Trappist thing so keep your eyes peeled for that one, I’m psyched to write it and hope you’re psyched to read it. On to the review!
I’m not sure how I’ve missed trying this beer before. Being a son of Ireland I’m a sucker for anything Irish, and Irish Reds have always had a special place in my heart as Killian’s was one of the first “better” beers I graduated to after years of Natty Light. So on to my review of Sam Adam’s Irish Red… which is really not much of an original name (more on that in a minute).
Looks like we have another beer on the loose soon from Akron’s Hoppin’ Frog. This Rye IPA is 7% ABV and, like the rest of Hoppin’ Frog’s beers, will be sold in 22oz bottles.
From the label:
“American hops dominate this Rye I.P.A, creating an assertive citrus and passion fruit character. An old-world flavor from rye malt adds the perfect compliment to Goose Juice’s big, satisfying hop flavor and aroma. Originally home-brewed by our beloved brewer Goose, its wonderful combination of flavors inspired us to brew this specialty I.P.A.”