Sunday, July 27, 2014

Weekly Duluth Beer Roundup for 7/27/2014

This will be my last roundup post for the next couple of weeks as I will be at my wedding next weekend. Before I head off to tie the knot, I figured I would sample some beers from around the Twin Ports area. This week was a special one because the new Fitger's Tide House called Endion Station opened in Canal Park this weekend.

Of course, the big event that was held in Duluth this weekend was the All Pints North festival, which is a beer festival held at in Duluth every year at the end of July. Now I was not able to go due to other obligations but I did meet up with a few friends from down in the Twin Cities whom were up for the festival itself at Thirsty Pagan Brewing in Superior before making the rounds around Duluth.

Thirsty Pagan Cracked Pepper Pils (5.5% ABV) - A very interesting specimen of a Pilsner. It's got a nice lemon zest, grassiness and Pilsner malts but it also has an encompassing pepperness (as implied by the name.) A nice and crisp beer to say the least.

Thirsty Pagan Voyageurs Black Ale (5.5% ABV) - This starts out with a typical roasted barley and a smoke chocolate maltiness but it has a very prominent sweet spruce finish. That's because this beer is brewed with spruce tips, a theme that I hope catches on up here. It's not often I see Black Ales do anything different so this is a nice change of pace.

After we finished at the Pagan and visited Funkytown, we stopped by the Fitger's Brewhouse for a beer before making our way to the Rathskeller at Tycoon's Alehouse, which serves as a tide-house for Fitger's. Usually they'll have something different (and tasty) on tap and that night they had two very high profile IPAs from the Brewhouse that I decided to try out.

Fitger's Hoppelujah IPA (6.5% ABV) - This IPA is pretty much a mixed bag of an assortment of hops, but definitely not in a bad way. You've got citrus hops with notes of oranges, grapefruit and mango and some bitter hops that linger throughout the taste and it ends with a dry bitter hop finish with some caramel malts. With it's robust flavor, it's easy to see why Dave Hoops, the brewmaster of Fitger's, brought this with to a beer festival in Oregon.

Fitger's The Mayor (8% ABV) - A beer brewed in honor of Duluth's mayor Don Ness, who declared Duluth to be Minnesota's Craft Beer Capital and has been extremely supportive of the craft beer scene here in Duluth. It starts off with a very robust citrus hop and grapefruit notes with a solid caramel malt backbone. Interestingly enough, it finishes with a rather piney/resin hop bitterness that lingers on the palate for quite a while. I would definitely take this home with me in a growler if only I could find one but I'll settle for just walking to the brewpub to have this for the time being.

The following day, I decided to make my way down to Canal Park to visit the Endion Station Public House, the newest Fitger's Tide House that just opened this past Friday. The building itself is actually over 100 years old and was actually an old passenger train station that was used during the first half of the 20th Century. I really love what they've done with the place and I like that it's one of those bars that you can just walk in and sit down or opt to sit on the patio overlooking Lake Superior.

Now I'm going to break my rule of reviewing just beer because Endion Station has been touted as Duluth's first cider house in addition to serving craft beer. We're not talking mass produced ciders from the likes of BMC but craft ciders.  Since I had arrived just before the end of All Pints North (i.e. The calm before the storm), I decided to try out one of their offerings.

Julian Cherry Bomb (7% ABV) - This is the first cider I've had that isn't made solely with apples. Maybe it's just me not being used to ciders, but WOW, this tastes great! While the apple flavor is still there, it takes a backseat to the rich cherry flavor. If this were to be available in bottles in my area, I would most certainly buy this on a regular basis.

Fitger's Back End Wee Heavy (9% ABV) - A beer that I actually had back in February when it was featured as part of Fitger's Sochi Series to commemorate the Sochi Olympics; Frankly I was shocked to even see it there! It possess a very strong roasted barley flavor upfront with some lightly smoked malts and a nice peated scotch finish. I remember this being a little more maltier and having a strong peated scotch taste but I'm guessing that having it age has evened things out a bit more. Either way, it still tastes very good.

It's kind of weird knowing that the next time I do a write-up post that I will be a married man. I guess it's moments like these that you truly savor......or some meaningful saying like that. In any case, here's to my last days as living as a bachelor.


- Nick

No comments:

Post a Comment