What Megan’s Drinking Friday….

by farrah on October 21, 2011 · 2 comments

I can’t have an October post go by without a nod to the hops! My good friend Megan knows a thing or two when it comes to the barley- so I passed the torch this week to her. Not to fear..I will be back next week with a red dazzler.

It’s beer o’clock!

This week’s “What I’m Drinking Friday” is brought to you by the letter B.

Sorry, winos! As everyone worth knowing knows, October is all about BEER. So this week, you may keep your delicate glassware up in the cabinet, as we bust old a cold one (or two, or three…)

I mean, nothing against all you wine fans out there, but beer — and I mean real beer, not that yellow donkey water advertised during football games — can be just as complex and varied as your most fru-fru chi-chi artsy-fartsy grape juice. For reals, yo.

Now while I am a hops girl myself and prefer a nice crisp IPA, I put it upon myself (oh, the burden!) to try two new-to-me seasonal (Autumn, to be exact) beers.

The first we decided to try on a whim while on a brief getaway to Shenandoah National Park, and was incidentally named one of the best beers of the fall on The Today Show (or as we call it, “The Drinking Ladies”). (You can see the review on the Today Show with a guy who has a smile like a squirrel at this link: Today Talks Hops).

An ice cold Abita Pecan Harvest Ale sounded like just the thing to drink in front of a toasty fire. I usually steer clear of seasonals because they tend to be overspiced and underwhelming, but the pecan ale piqued my interest and I had to try it.

Now I don’t know all that fan-dangled alcohol lingo with the nose and the legs and what have you, but I know my beer. The Abita Pecan was worth trying, and an enjoyable and interesting ale, but not something that I was head over heels for. It starts off very light, almost watery, and then kicks in with a very robust flavor that was a bit too sweet for me (I prefer bitters, mind you). My husband and I had picked up just two bottles, one for each of us. As usually happens around here, he took sips of his, said “Hmm,” and 20 minutes later I said, “You gonna finish that?” And then I did. He actually prefers sweeter beers, but the flavor was a bit too strong for him. Incidentally, had I not seen the label, I would not have pinned this as pecan, or any other nut-based brew for that matter. It has some of your standard “autumn fest” spices in there, the hint of orange, yadda yadda. It wasn’t overspiced per se, just very robust, and actually I had to check the label twice as the taste makes you wonder just how high the alcohol content is (suprisingly low at 5%). Bottom line: if you’re into tasting craft seasonals, pick up a Pecan Harvest Ale — but not a six pack. (Megan cannot seem to remember exactly what a six pack costs [ahem] but she believes approximately $12 for a 6 pack available at most grocery stores seasonally).

The next bottle on the agenda today is Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale. We got a sixer of these to try them out. As usual, the Mr. had one and I had five.

This was  a nice brew, but not particularly interesting or life-changing. It is ultimately a basic Autumn seasonal, with your standard blah cloves and all-spice. It also has what the official description calls “a touch of wheat,” and what I would revise to say “a big-ass honkin’ touch of wheat.” It was smooth, slightly on the sweet side, and mercifully balanced, not overspiced. The official description also says it “will remind you of pumpkin pie.” I can’t say I agree with that one; while it is a bit sweet, I still thought the wheat overpowered the “seasonality” of the brew. I suppose this might be a nice, affordable choice for seasonal beer hipsters to try, and should be easy to find since Blue Moon is so inexplicably fashionable these days. (Again, price estimate is around $9-$10 per 6 pack and should be at your local beer selling grocery store).

So there you have it! Go out there and try something new this weekend to unfurl the tangles of the week and get into the spirit of fall.

Stay thirsty, my friends.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 farrah October 24, 2011 at 2:02 am

I tried the Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale tonight- it was good! We had stew and bread, so it was very complementary!

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