Firestone Walker Lager

Today is my father’s birthday. My father is into wine much more than he is beer. At a family party, he’ll bring out a 1970 Chateau Latour. I’ve tried to get him into beer and he humors me, but he’s definitely a wine guy. He also served 1982 and 1983 Chateau Margaux at my wedding. But, this is a beer I think he could get down with.

ABV: 4.5%

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “They said I was before my time—maybe I still am. I’m a lover, not a hater. I’m this and I’m that. Craft to the core, but open to ideas. Hard to make, but easy to drink. Partial to unicorns, puns and good, clean beer. Born in 2000, born again in 2018.”

Random: This beer comes in at 17 IBUs.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw-yellow color. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had some malt sweetness and a touch of honey as well. There was some grass and yeast. The taste was crisp and unoffensive. There was yeast along with toasted malt and mineral water. It had a slight hint of banana. The body was really light with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with yeast and toasted malt. I picked up the can for $1.83, which broke down to $.15 per ounce. The beer didn’t have amazing flavors, but it was well-done and I wouldn’t refuse this at a party. I would have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Samuel Adams Golden Hour

Tonight’s beer is one from a Sam Adams variety pack that was stuck in the back of the fridge. I used to buy their variety pack every season, but now I usually only buy one or two for a party. Let’s see how this beer was.

ABV: 5%

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “‘Helles’ is the German word for bright, and it’s the perfect way to describe this light, golden, and refreshing beer. German Noble hops create a distinct spicy, fresh hop character, and are complemented by a touch of malt sweetness for a drinkable yet flavorful brew. Capture it before the season slips away like the golden hour of a summer evening.”

Random: The brewery recommends pairing this with bratwurst.

The beer poured with a very loose, one finger, pure white head. It went away quickly, leaving no lacing on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy, but bright yellow in color with lots of carbonation. The nose was pretty light. I picked up some lemon peel and grain, but not much else. The taste started with lemon peel and grain, but quickly went into white peppercorns and grass. The body was on the lighter side with lots of carbonation. The finish was quick and unremarkable. Since this sat in the back of the fridge for awhile, I don’t remember how much I paid for it, but I can’t imagine it being very expensive. I thought this beer was just unremarkable, but definitely drinkable.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Key Helles Lager

I’m watching Live PD while Val takes a shower. We just got a delivery from Ikea for the rest of the furniture for the guest bedroom. Since I used to work in home delivery, it really annoyed me that the delivery team forged her initials on the POD. In addition, one of the things that we ordered is completed dented. I marked the heck out of the POD and will be calling later to complain about this. A beer will definitely help calm me down.

ABV: 4.7%

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A medium-bodied, golden-in-color lager with a clean malt flavor start and a slightly sweet and spicy hop finish.This beer is clean and crisp for an easy and refreshing year-round drink.”

Random: This beer comes in at 24 IBUs.

The beer poured with a thick, one finger, tan-colored head. It went away quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was clear and a bright straw yellow color with generous amounts of carbonation. The nose was grainy, as expected, but had a touch of caramel malt along with grassy hops. The taste was more hoppy than I expected with some grass. The grains came through next with a touch of honey sweetness. The body was on the light side with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with grain. I picked up this can in the DC area for $2, which came to $.17 per ounce. This was an easy drinker that didn’t pull any punches. I would use this beer to introduce people to craft beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Victory Round Robin

I’ve always had a certain affinity for Victory beers. They’re widely available in Jersey and I cut my teeth on their beers when I first started the blog. Prima Pils is still one of my go-tos when looking for a beer to bring to a party. Let’s see how this one was.

ABV: 4.6%

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The brewers’ playground. At Victory, we’re an experimental and thirsty bunch, and our limited-release, draft-only specialty series, D’town Drafts, is an outlet for the creativity, ingenuity and passion for which our Brewmasters are known. Pours a pale straw color with white foam and lacing. Aroma of clean lager fermentation and American hops. Flavor of clean slightly citrusy hops and nice light malt character. Slim with a hop finish. A drinker.”

Random: This beer uses Cascade hops.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick white head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was really grassy and lots of grain. It had some mineral water as well. The taste had some grass along with a touch of malt and mineral water. There was some lemon pith as well. It was simple but super drinkable with a light body and moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with mineral water and river rocks. This was a solid beer that I could easily put back while watching a game. It doesn’t pull any punches, but I would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Jack’s Abby House Lager

Jack’s Abby is now available in Pennsylvania too, so I get it a lot more easily than I used to. I still want to make a trip out to the brewery, but I haven’t had a chance yet. I’m thinking that maybe when we go to Maine next, we can detour to the brewery on the way up. This was a beer that I picked up in Pennsylvania awhile back.

houselager

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “House Lager pulls inspiration from the numerous country lagers, or landbiers, found in Franconia. It’s sweet and golden with a full malty body that comes from using a traditional German malt variety. A special beer for year-round enjoyment.”

Random: This beer comes in at 18 IBUs and is available year-round.

The brew poured with a one finger, pure white head. It went away quickly, but left no lacing on the glass. Instead, a small crown was left on the straw yellow body. It was clear and had moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with warm pilsner malt and a slight honey sweetness. The taste was sweet with wildflower honey. It had pilsner malt as well and a touch of mineral water. The body was thin and crisp with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with wildflower honey. The pounder can was $1.54, which broke down to $.10 per ounce. This was a simple, but very drinkable beer. If you’re looking for a beer to convert a macro drinker, this would be a good choice.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Holy City Old Man Helles

One of the days that we were in South Carolina, we took a ride up to Charleston and made a stop for lunch. Charleston was everything I wanted Savannah to be, but it wasn’t. It had all of the historic buildings and absolutely beautiful houses. While I was there, I sampled one of their local beers.

oldmanhelles

ABV: 4.2%

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our head brewer Chris has a serious background in lager brewing, so we decided the summer of 2012 would be a great time for a series of one-off, small batch lagers. Old Man Helles is the first of the bunch, a refreshing, sharp lager ready to cool your heels after what’s been a slightly brutal heat wave. The name comes from a simple request Mac’s dad made when the brewery first opened: make an old man beer. Skoal!”

Random: This comes in at 15 IBUs.

This brew poured with a quarter of a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow color with high carbonation visible. The nose was quite sweet with grain and honey. The taste was crisp with the same sweetness that was apparent in the nose. It had some honey and sweet bread as well. The body was light with high carbonation which made this go down very easily. The finish was quick with honey. This was a simple beer, but I enjoyed it throughly. I could see it pairing well with almost any dish and would have this one again if I ever find it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Kane Night Swimming

One of my favorite music artists is Ingrid Michaelson. I’ve been following her for years and occasionally, she does a cover of R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming,” which I think is amazing. Val, on the other hand is a huge R.E.M. fan and doesn’t like the cover as much as the original. We went to Kane because we were in the area and I saw this beer on tap and had to give it a shot. It’s also a lager, which Kane doesn’t tend to brew much.

nightswimming

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Trivia: This is an unfiltered lager and the website had little to no information about it.

Random: This cold is super annoying. I had chicken soup for breakfast.

The brew poured with a one finger, thick, white head. It dissipated quickly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy yellow color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of grain with sweet honey, almost like Tupelo honey. It also had some grassiness from the hops that made it quite interesting. The taste was clean with a lot of grain and then quickly went into spring flower petals and honey. It was followed up with grass. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. It had a quick, grainy finish. I don’t recall what I paid for a glass of this at the brewery, but it was a draft only release. This was an easy drinker with decent flavor. If they brew this again next year, give it a shot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0