Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekly Duluth Beer Roundup for June 22, 2014

Since the reception to my weekly round-up posts have been very positive these past couple of weeks, I've decided to make these posts a regular addition to my blog. That and I think this will be a good resource to those looking to try out something new in terms of craft beer.

This week certainly has been a busy one in terms of doing my weekly survey of Duluth/Superior's craft beer, thanks in part to my mom and stepdad visiting for Grandma's Marathon this past weekend, for which my mom was running. Before I get to that, I'll be going over a couple of beers that I had the chance to check out prior to this weekend.

Since I moved into my new place, my proximity to the brewpubs located in Duluth is close enough to the point where I don't have to drive 20-25 minutes to get to where I want to be, let alone drive at all. So that's why I decided to walk to Fitger's Brewhouse after getting off of work to check out a couple of new offerings which they added to their tap lineup.

Fitger's Finn's Finest (6.3% ABV) - This beer has a very nicely balanced citrus & piney hop profile with some very mild bitterness and a rather sweet malty finish. I'm honestly not 100% sure what exactly this beer is. Beer Advocate calls it an American IPA whereas the Fitger's website suggests that it's an American Pale Ale. I can see characteristics of both present in here but either way, it's quite delicious!

Fitger's El Diablo (9% ABV) - Fitger's Belgian Strong Ale. Despite it's rather pale yellow appearance, El Diablo possesses a good Belgian yeast, banana and clove flavor profile that comes together perfectly with a solid malty backbone. I'm not sure how long this will be on tap for, so be sure to check it out!

Now earlier, I mentioned that my mom and stepdad were in town for Grandma's Marathon. Since they both happen to be fans of craft beer, we decided to goto Thirsty Pagan Brewing after the race to load up on some carbs and to drink some beer. After running 26.2 miles, I'd want a beer and some pizza too! While we were there, I recommended a couple of beers to my mom and step-dad from my previous recap post and sure enough, they enjoyed them! As for me, I decided to have something new.

Thirsty Pagan Troublemaker Tripel (9.1% ABV) - The second locally brewed Belgian Tripel that I have ever had with the first being from Canal Park Brewing. This beer has some nice Belgian yeasts, candied caramel malty sweetness, clove and subtle dark fruit flavors with just a hint of spice. When I was there, I noticed they had added the Tripel to their regular lineup list as opposed to their seasonal list. If this is indeed going to be part of their year-round lineup, I think it would be a very welcome addition.

Thirsty Pagan Angela Merkel Chocolate Dunkel (5.5%) - A Dunkelweizen which is named after the German Head of State. This possess a fairly roasty and almost chocolate-like flavor with some dark fruitiness, wheat malts and a mildly bitter hop finish; All of which are nicely balanced and come together quite well. It's not too often that I see a Dunkelweizen on tap anywhere and it's nice to see a traditional German beer style being showcase locally.

After our meal, we decided we would meet up later that evening for dinner so I headed home and I did something I haven't done since I was 8 years old: I took an afternoon nap. I had been walking and running around since 7am that morning and I can only imagine how the runners must've felt.

A few hours after I had gotten home, I received word that we were going to Canal Park Brewing to have some dinner and, of course, more local beer. While I made my recommendations to my mom and step-dad, I took this opportunities to try out some offerings which I had previously neglected to take a real close look at.

Canal Park Mindblock Double Honey Maibock (7.5% ABV) - A spring/summer seasonal Maibock offering. Being that this is a Maibock, it's very malt forward with a pale malt, toffee and honey sweetness before ending with a mild floral hoppiness. Maibocks are always a seasonal favorite for myself and this is no exception.

Canal Park Ankle Deep Pilsner (5% ABV) - I actually had this because the menu said it paired well with their Beer Cheese n' Mac entreé, which is what I was having. For the most part, it's pilsner malts with a light earthy/grassy flavor with just a touch of bitter hoppiness at the end. It's pretty light and possesses a nice crisp feeling. Not overly complex by any means, but it did pair wonderfully with my dinner and I could see myself drinking a couple of these after a long day doing yardwork.

After dinner, we bid our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Overall, it was a very fun weekend. Stay tuned in the near future for my post regarding the final Craft Beer Roundtable Event from The Duluth Experience. That in and of itself was a lot of fun to attend and I cannot wait to share with everyone what was discussed.


- Nick

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