Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Rogue Beard Beer Review

Name: Rogue Beard Beer
Style: Wild Ale
ABV: 4.8%
IBUs: 25

Ever come across a beer that is so bizarre and out there that you just had to try it out? Well, in the case of Rogue Ales' Beard Beer, that was sort of the case. You see this beer came out while I was living in Duluth, and while I had access to pretty much every Rogue beer under the sun there, the Beard Beer was always the one I could never seem to find and was seemingly only available in the Twin Cities. Whenever I came back to visit, the Beard Beer was nowhere to be found. That was until last weekend when I stumbled upon this at Blue Max and thought to myself "Why Not?"

As you may have guessed from the name, this is beer with a yeast strain found in the beard of Rogue's Brewmaster, John Maier, who has not shaved since 1979/1980. In fact, that's his mug on the front of the bottle, beard and all. It's also a beer that has it's own Wikipedia page. This raises a couple questions in my mind. Why they decided to look in some guy's 35 year old beard is beyond me.

Regardless, even without the beard yeast (which did churn my stomach just a little bit when I first heard about the concept,) this is still somewhat of a niché beer considering that the brewery classifies this as a Wild Ale; Which again is not surprising considering that it comes from a beard that is literally quite a bit older than I am.

Appearance - Fairly clear golden color with a high amount of visible carbonation. The head is about a finger in width and white in appearance with some pretty decent lacing for the most part.

Aroma - The front of the nose is primarily yeasts with some green apple & clove notes. I'm also getting some pale malts, a bit of grains and light biscuit notes. For a wild ale, it's surprisingly Belgian-like.

Taste - Belgian Yeasts, mildly sour green apples, and a bit bit of clove spiciness make up the front of the palate, followed by some pale malts and light bitter hops on the end of the palate with a hint of graininess.

I'm shocked! This tastes way more like a Belgian than wild ale, though you can still tell it's a wild ale due to the light but lingering sourness. If there was one beer that I would choose as a gateway into sour or wild ales, this beer would be it right here. It's got a manageable amount of sourness to it, yet it's familiar enough to most craft beer drinkers in terms of flavor. On top of that, it's got a really nice flavor to it. For a sour beer, it's on the lighter side but from a Belgian perspective, it's really good!

Rogue Beard Beer - 8.5/10

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