On Saturday we had our first large group Growler Saturday! We had 8 (drinking) friends over and every person brought a growler to share. We all sat around the table, drank tasters of everyone’s beer, and rated them to find the best of the night. For the most part we drank the beers from lowest ABV (alcohol by volume) to highest. We were hoping that this would help us to be able to fully appreciate each beer. Last time the ratings kept getting higher and higher the more we drank lol. I am going to list the beers in the order we drank them.
The first beer we had was Hairless Hare’s Breakfast Brown. Now, the ABV on this is 7% but we decided on the escalating rule after this. This beer had a great roasted flavor. It was a solid brown ale but nothing extraordinary. The average rating for this beer was a 6.7. I gave it a 6. I would classify that as a “I’d order it.”
The next beer was the Great Lakes and Oskar Blues collaboration Mash Appeal. This lager got an average rating of 5.4. I gave it a 5 or a “I’d get it if it was the only craft beer.” I wasn’t very impressed with this beer and it didn’t really leave a big impression on me either way.
Next we had Mt. Carmel Harvest Ale. This beer was rather hoppy but it wasn’t as astringent as most IPA’s. I think the wet hopping really mellowed out the hops and made it more drinkable. I gave it a 5 (not really into hoppy beers) but the average score was a 7.8. So everyone else was into it.
The 4th beer was Urban Artifact’s Calliope. I was excited to hear someone was bringing an Urban Artifact beer because I love sours. Unfortunately this beer was an American Wild Ale so it did not give me the sour flavor I was looking for. It was an ok beer but I was somewhat underwhelmed. I am used to their beers punching you with flavor and this one was somewhat bland. I gave it a 3 or “I’d drink it if it’s free.” The average score was a 4.
Beer number 5 was Alpine’s Nelson. This is an American IPA. So we all know how I feel about IPAs… and that is exactly what this was. Still, everyone else loved it. I gave it a 4, “I appreciate what they are doing it’s just not for me.” Still the average was a 6.7. So overall I’d say it is probably a good beer. 🙂
The next beer we had is one that I, and every person in Ohio, are very familiar with. That beer is Great Lakes Christmas Ale. This beer was exactly what I expected. The only criticism I can give it is that it was a little too soon (still not Thanksgiving). I am a big supporter of giving each holiday their time. Still it was full of holiday spices and I will be on the hunt for it… in 2 weeks. I gave it a 7 meaning “I could crave it.” I know for a fact that is a very true statement with this beer. The average score was a 7.1. So I guess most agreed with me.
Now we are getting into the beers my husband and I picked out 🙂 . The 7th beer was the barrel aged Batch 100 from Dayton Beer Company. The Batch 100 is a Belgian strong ale and was one of my absolute favorite beers this summer. The Jack Daniels barrel aging really added a lot of depth to this beer. It still had some of the brightness of a belgian but the whiskey flavor really made this a beer appropriate for fall. I gave it an 8, “I’m excited to see it,” and the average score was 8.5. It is definitely something you will want to try.
The final beer was mine! I brought the newly released Esther’s Lil Secret 2015 from Warped Wing. From my blog post on this you can tell I was a fan. The chocolate flavor in this beer has been holding up no matter how I have gotten it. The fresh beer tastes just as good as the growler fill and the cans. I missed the chocolate pairing but it was still great :-). I gave it a 9 or “I’d seek it out.” This beer had a much more split review than I thought. Some people loved it and others thought it was too sweet. The average score was a 7.1.
Now if you’re keeping score you will see the winner was Dayton Beer Company’s Barrel Aged Batch 100. I thought my beer was pretty awesome but I can’t disagree with this winner. After the tasting comes the party! Craft beer pong anyone?