By Pete Larrivee
Hello and welcome to the first “Got Beer” column of the new online version of Motif! We’ve finally moved into the 21st century, and it’s about time because my leeches and electro-shock health care plan is expensive! Here you’ll see beer reviews and craft beer news before they hit the paper every month. We’re looking forward to even more online content in the future, so keep your eyes on us. We’re going places!
Magic Hat Pistil – From the label alone – a green and yellow swirling pattern – it looks like someone wants to lure people away from Ithaca Flower Power, and what a coincidence, look what’s in stores now at the exact same time. I wonder if this was a marketing decision on the part of Magic Hat’s corporate masters or if it’s a coincidental Spring Fashion Week label. The beer claims to have dandelion in it, which is on track with your typical style-defying Magic Hat offering. I guess we’ll find out when we crack the cap.
Well, it’s nothing like Flower Power, but it’s a pretty tasty little darling. This is definitely a spring beer, light with flowery notes in it, but unlike the Flower Power (which gets its flavor entirely from the floral hops), this brew uses dandelion to give it a strange, buttery taste that almost reminds me of mead. It’s a touch on the fruity side — not that there’s anything wrong with that.
This might not be the type of beer I’d normally go for as a spring seasonal, but it’s one of the more inventive I’ve ever tried. Though some might be put off by the dandelion, I found it a nice light little brew that made me pine for warm sunshine… or maybe I’m just tired of shoveling out my car.
Weyerbacher Verboten – A Belgian-style pale ale, this is one of those cross-styles that never seem to fail. Most Belgian’s tend to have a heavy wheat taste and an alcohol punch that’ll knock a lightweight on his Cheetos-puffed exterior with just one bottle, but the pale ale hops bring a tasty and welcomed balance to the mix. In the case of Weyerbacher’s Verboten (which is “forbidden” to those of you who speak only ‘Merican), the strong wheatiness is still pronounced, but there’s a pleasant hop tingle that leaves a crisp aftertaste. This slightly cloudy golden brew both satisfies and leaves you wanting more. The 5.9% ABV is good too because it’s 25 degrees right now and I’d love to feel warm!
Clown Shoes Lubrication – I know, I know, that name sounds like the title of the strangest porn ever – and yes I do spend enough time on the internet to know that thanks to rule 34, it probably is the strangest porn ever – but in actuality, Lubrication is an “American black ale” that’s “brewed with natural flavor.” You know, I see little items like that, and I always wonder what exactly an unnatural flavor would taste like. Is there some strange, ancient, forbidden elder hop that goes against the laws of nature and requires a thousand adjectives and at least a dozen adverbs to convey it’s horror?
I seem to have gotten off track with all the talk of pornography and Lovecraftian horrors, which is a sentence I never thought I’d see myself type.
So the Lubrication is an American black ale that pours just as dark and foreboding as the first paragraph of an Edgar Allen Poe story, but then it foams up into a tremendous cloud of sticky-sweetness on top giving it the appearance of that sea-foam invasion.
Yes, yes, yes, but how does it taste, man? Well, aren’t you impatient!
Lighter than I expected. This brew doesn’t quite have the body one would expect from something vaguely in the direction of a Black IPA, which is probably why it’s just called a black ale. Though it does have a crispness from the hops, it’s mostly in the lightly-citrusy and piney areas. It takes a bit for the foam to settle, which is usually considered a good indication for a beer. It has a yeasty aftertaste as well, which definitely comes through thanks to the carbonation. Trust me, a beer nerd will get that one. The label claims it’s made with West Coast hops and orange peel, which accounts for all the flavors I’m sensing. Definitely give it a taste, but make sure you pour it into a very tall glass.
Coming Soon: Sean Larkin and Revival, or… Dude, what’s with the hat?