Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Max's Fanno Creek Brew Pub's Pagan Ale

Max's Fanno Creek Brew Pub
Pagan Ale on draught
Tigard, OR
Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On another cold, rainy night in Portland we decided to get out of the house.  What better excuse to do so than to review another beer.  At first glance of the menu I knew exactly what beer I was choosing:  the Pagan Ale.  A sacrilegious pale ale?  Score and double score!  Described on the menu as "A big floral hop aroma greets you at the rim of the glass.  A well-balanced, full-flavored Northwest style Pale Ale at 5.4% Abv and 46 IBUs (International Bitterness Units).  The true "little brother" of our IPA."  Despite the slightly flowery description, this beer is really good.  I like the "little brother" description because it is smooth, light bodied and lightly hopped pale ale.  Not quite in the IPA ballpark, but somewhere around the parking lot of the ballpark.  Not an empty parking lot but a full one, teaming with tailgaters and lots of flaming beef and pork.  This Pagan Ale is lightly carbonated compared to other beers, making it go down fast.  That combined with the great flavor made it last shorter than a box of Double Stuff Oreos on Rosie O'Donell's nightstand.

Conclusion:  A great light beer with good flavor.  A good introduction to bitter beers.

A max rating of five beers.  I liked the light body combined with the light hops and full flavor.  Next, I will have to go back and have the Reverend's Daughter.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Prost's Bayreuther landbier dunkel on Draught

Prost German Pub
Bayreuther landbier dunkel
Portland, OR
Sunday, March 11, 2012

Let me start by saying that I have not yet met a German beer that I like.  OK, perhaps I can drink a Hefeweizen or two, BUT only if they are made in Portland.  So they don't count.  Yes, the Germans do make many kinds of beer:  lagers, pilsners, dunkels, bocks, altbier, goses, koelsches, martens, rauchbiers and many variations of each.  This helps explain their reputation as having the best beer in the world.  But I really don't like any of them.  I suppose I cut my teeth in the beeriest place on earth, Portland, so I am true to Portland beers.  Who's with me?!  Sorry about that, I'm done now.  Because of this strong and perhaps irrational bias, this review is ALL Jeff.  I am removing myself completely because it is impossible for me to be properly subjective.  Or fair, or reasonable, or anything that has to do with faking it. 

The dunkel is a frothy, medium bodied, low carbonation beer that goes down easy (when not gagging on it!)  Sorry!  I'm trying hard not to interject.  Really, I am.  Let's just get to what Jeff said:  "If this was a wine I would describe it as light and not a lot of complexity.  It's smooth.  It's a quaffing beer."  Well great!  Because we are here to quaff beer after all.  So we quaffed and licked away our froth mustaches until our beers were empty.

Conclusion:  A quaffing beer.

Two jugs, uh, I mean, steins.  

Amnesia Brewing's Slow Train Porter

Slow Train Porter on Draught
Amnesia Brewing
Portland, OR
Sunday, March 11, 2012

My buddy Jeff called to go sample and rate a beer for the blog.  So we did two!  (The next one is coming after this one which, ironically, you will have read first since blog posts are displayed from newest to oldest.)  Slow Train Porter is the dark beer seen above next to its good friend, Dusty Trail Ale.

The first taste was strong, which is right on queue with most other porters.  Really good first impression.  It has a caramel and woody flavor.  Which type of wood?  I don't know.  I haven't spent any time licking two by fours at Parr Lumber so I can't tell you which type of wood.  For that matter I don't know what wood tastes like.  Let's just say that it tasted like what I think wood tastes like based on the smell of wood.  Fair enough?  Good.  Back to the beer.  As my glass got emptier the beer tasted less like a porter and more like a dark ale.  I like dark ales, but this is supposed to be a porter.  Sometimes a beer changes flavor for the better.  Unfortunately, this one got worse.  So it would have been a bad dark ale even if it had been called a dark ale.

Conclusion:  First taste was great, just like the porters I like.  Quickly degenerated into a weak dark ale flavor.

Two beers.  In the end, this slow train was the little engine that couldn't.