Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Local beers enjoyed in warmer months. At Madhouse, Exile, and CABCo.

The sign outside Madhouse Brewing at Scott and E. Fifth says it all, "Crazy good beer." After sampling a flight I was fairly impressed with Madhouse's range of beers. On the way to the head I spotted a beaker filled with a mystery liquid. I fought off the desire to pound it, fearing a wicked yeast infection if I did.

The deeply malty Oak-Aged Imperial Red Ale, above left, is a beer best to fortify ones self on a crisp Fall day. Smoky Sumatra Coffee Stout, above center, is heavily influenced with a Sumatra coffee blend from Zanzibar's Coffee Adventure. An effervescent espresso is there ever is one to be had; a magnificent brew! A pairing of both would make a fine 'Black and Red.'

Earlier this year I was most pleased with some of Exile Brewing's new brews, including their citrusy Giving Tree IPA [see blog post]. Exile has since tweaked the recipe with the release of the Giving Tree Redux IPA. Appropriately bitter without being harsh, but not as grapefruity as its progenitor. I rather miss the latter.

The Beatnik Sour from Exile is impressive! Quite puckery and bright with a sauerkraut finish on the palate. I'd love to boil some brats in this flavorful brew.

Not all innovation is limited to the young brewers in the Metro. Court Avenue Brewing's Belgian Tripel EntendrĂ©, above left, is aged in white wine oak barrels. Its high ABV – 10.4% – imparts a dry mouthfeel and slightly masks its juicy pear-like flavor. The Iowa Oaks Ale, above right, offers a nice balance of malt and hops, with some acidity. A cromulent brew!

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