Off Color Wari

Tonight’s selection is yet another Off Color beer. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 3.8%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Dig into the past of Peru’s ancient Andean empires with Field Museum Curator and archaeologist Dr. Patrick Ryan Williams and his distinguished team of fellow scientists. For the past seven years, they have led excavations at Cerro Baúl, a remote mountaintop citadel that was the sole point of contact between the Tiwanaku and the Wari—two great kingdoms whose dynamic relationship ultimately contributed to the rise of the Incan Empire. A more secular and militant nation than the Tiwanaku, the Wari governed most of highland and coastal Peru from their upland capitol at Ayacucho, along the spine of the Andes. Cultivating these steep mountain slopes into fertile farmland for corn, peppers, and other crops required high-altitude terracing and irrigation, agricultural techniques perfected by the Wari. Throughout their realm, the Wari also erected immense courtyard complexes lined with tall, barrack-like palaces that are easily distinguished from the Tiwanaku architectural style. Large, D-shaped temples and linear “libation halls,” rather than pyramidal temples, functioned as the sacred center of Wari culture by hosting traditional festivals and ceremonial sacrifices to the gods. About the same time that the Tiwanaku colonists first established their agricultural center in the Moquegua Valley (A.D. 600), the Wari made a bold thrust into the region. Here, they quickly established a political outpost along the Wari frontier bordering Tiwanaku territory. Their remote city, built atop Cerro Baúl, is the only known point of interaction between these two powerful Andean empires. An essential sacrament shared by both cultures revolved around chicha, an alcoholic beer made most often from maize (corn). During drinking rituals, inferiors and superiors cemented their relationship by imbibing chicha in massive quantities. Keros (drinking cups) found at Cerro Baúl show a blending of artistic styles that reveal an exchange of religious iconography between the neighboring Wari and Tiwanaku peoples.”

Random: I love when Off Color teams up with The Field Museum to make a beer.

The beer poured with a half a finger of pink head. It went away quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was clear and a bright pink color. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose started with a lot of corn, but quickly transitioned into a bit of tartness and lemon zest. The berries came through at the end. The taste started with corn and honey sweetness. The tartness with lemon zest came through next. The berries (specifically strawberry and raspberry) finished up the sip. The body was light with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with berries. I picked this up for $3.25, which came to $.27 per ounce. I thought this was an interesting beer, but not something that I’d want to have every day.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Off Color Prisoner’s Dillema

I’ve been reviewing a lot of Off Color beers lately and that’s because they’re easily available in Jersey now. Let’s see how this one was.

ABV: 5.4%

Style: Scottish Gruit/Ancient Herbed Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This herbal beer was inspired by the story of James Squire, a British convict banished to Australia in the 18th century. He was later caught stealing horehound and pepper from a local pharmacy to use in his homebrew, which he sold to people around town, including the local authorities. Instead of execution they sentenced him to 150 lash of the whip. After his sentence was up he became a successful businessman and was celebrated for first cultivating hops in Australia. Prisoner’s Dilemma is brewed with horehound for (a sharp and menthol- like) bittering as well as coriander, grains of paradise, and costmary (another historically significant herb that is nearly impossible to source so Dave grew some in the back of the brewery). The name Prisoner’s Dilemma is based on a concept in game theory but economic theory is beyond the scope of this webpage.”

Random: Val loves baking shows on tv and I’m finally starting to get into them.

The beer poured with a half a finger of cream-colored head that hung around for awhile, but left very little lacing on the glass. A crown was left on top of the hazy, mahogany body. There were some floaties and generous carbonation visible. The nose was relatively mild. It had some pine along with some floral notes and malt. The taste was much of the same. It had some nice, herbal notes with juniper and rosemary and then went into malt and floral notes. The body was on the medium side with just enough carbonation. It had a medium length finish with herbs. A bottle was $3.25, which came to $.27 per ounce. Gruits are one of my favorite styles of beer at this did not disappoint. I would get this one again, but it’s only available as a Fall seasonal.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Off Color Tooth & Claw

The one time that I went to Chicago, the only museum I got to visit was the Field Museum. It was really cool, but very small for my liking. I also wanted to go to aquarium, but never made it there. I guess I have to take Val so we can get there.

ABV: 5%

Style: Czech Pilsener

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “John likes bees. John’s like of bees led him to hanging out with other people who like bees. Some of the other people who like bees work at The Field Museum. The Field Museum was opening a bistro and bar. John was opening a brewery. And that is pretty much the story of how Off Color and The Field Museum collaborated to make this crisp, clean pilsner with a dry-hopped bite far inferior to Sue’s.”

Random: All of our cats are knocked out in their boxes. I guess they all decided that it was sleepy-time.

This beer poured with a four finger, white head that was loose and dissipated quite quickly. The body was clear and straw-yellow in color. The nose was clean and filled with yeast and grass. The taste was much of the same. It was super clean with lots of yeast. It had biscuit and yeast. The body was on the lighter side with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick and clean finish with biscuit. It was $1.83 a bottle, which came to $.15 per ounce. This was a solid pils, but nothing amazing. There are many better selections from Off Color.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Off Color Class War

I got my new shirts from Off Color today and they threw in a free bottle opener, which was very cool. Anyways, review time.

ABV: 10%

Style: Smoked Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Gotlandsdricka, or Gotlandsdricke, is the indigenous farmhouse ale of Gotland, the largest island in Sweden. A cousin to the Finnish Sahti, it’s similarly kept alive by a handful of old men and very much in danger of dying off with them. Was taught how to make it by the head brewer at Nårke over the course of several, several beers where he made me run through several books he had with him a the bar despite the fact that a) they were in Swedish b) there were no pictures and c) I don’t speak Swedish. Undeterred, he carried on and felt it was very important to discuss the tradition of brewing dricke and also that there are different sexes of juniper trees. Our version is deeply spicy with both malted and unmalted rye and a hefty addition of juniper but, while rich, finishes dry and fruity thanks to a large honey addition and a portion of malt Dave smoked by hand over pear wood in the backyard. ABV is deceptive and balances against the stonefruit sweetness of dark munich. At 9.5% it should leave you well prepared for the brave new world we’re heading into or at least blissfully despondent. Just remember, vikings didn’t have health insurance either. Gonna go ahead and guess lots of us won’t anymore, so we have priced Class War accordingly. Brewing for the proletariat.”

Random: I love listening to podcasts while I blog.

The beer poured with a quarter finger of ecru colored head that dissipated quickly. A slight crown was left on top of a dark brown head with no carbonation visible due to the color. The nose was filled with smoke, chocolate and rye. There was some caramel apparent as well. The taste had the same notes as the nose. I picked up a generous amount of smoke, chocolate, rye and caramel. There was a dose of juniper to this as well. The body was on the medium side with a lot of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with smoke and juniper. A bomber of this was $16.99, which came to $.77 per ounce. I thought this was another interesting beer from Off Color.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Off Color Market Rate

I’m finally getting through my backlog of beers and am almost a month ahead in posting. It makes life so much easier when I have posts scheduled, so I don’t have to worry that I’m going to miss one.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “At some point John and Dave were born. They did other stuff for a while and then they figured out they were better at making beer than at the other stuff. So that’s what they do now. They met while both studied at the oldest and most respected brewing school (of the two…and by the brewers that went to the one) in the US, the Siebel Institute, in 2008 and the brewery was envisioned while they both interned at Metropolitan Brewing afterwards. Most of Off Color’s business plan is based off of Doug and Tracy at Metro knowing what they’re doing, so you should go buy some of their beer too. After cutting their teeth at larger breweries, the two somehow convinced enough otherwise-very-smart-people to invest enough money for them to buy some big shiny things to make their own beer in. So that’s what they do now.”

Random: This beer is now retired.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated as soon as I took the picture. It left no lacing on the glass, but did leave a small crown on top of the bright yellow body. It was hazy with no visible carbonation. The nose started with a lot of funk and quickly went into ripe strawberries. It was a pleasant combination. The taste was more of the same. It had a lot of brett and funk and tartness, but was quickly followed up by tons of ripe strawberries. The body was on the medium side with a lot of carbonation. It had a medium length finish with strawberries. I aged this beer for awhile, I forgot how much I paid for it, but this was another quality beer from Off Color.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Off Color Qing Ming

Tonight’s beer is a really unique one and I can’t remember the last time that I’ve had a braggot.

ABV: 9.5%

Style: Braggot

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Inspired by artifacts discovered during archaeological digs in Taixi and a Changzikou tomb dating from the Late Shang/Western Zhou Dynasties circa 1600-722 bce, this a modern recreation of Chang. A stronger, drier herbal version of Li, a sweet, low abv rice- or millet-based “beer.” Rather than a strict recreation of a single dig site, we chose to make an amalgam because existing evidence shows a wide range of beverage types were produced… and the federal government decided that many of the ingredients and flavorings being used at the time are not currently legal to use in beer production. Of particular interest, these sites have some very early evidence of mold based sacchrificaton – China’s unique contribution to the production of alcoholic beverages. Taste profile is of peaches and lemon rind with fragrant aromas of tea, bubblegum, and sake followed by an onslaught of complex fruit, herbal, and floral character. Body is dry and effervescent with the warming alcohol dissipating quickly from the palate leaving one with the perception of nectar, honey, and perfumed rice.”

Random: Since I love Off Color branding, I had to look at their current swag while posting this and bought two shirts.

The beer poured with a one finger, relatively thick, white head. It went away quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was somewhat hazy and bright yellow with moderate carbonation. The nose was interesting. It started with yeast and transitioned into rice. Wildflower honey came through next with apricot and peach. The taste was just as interesting. I was shocked that on first sip, there was no alcohol burn at all. The same milled grain and rice was there along with honey and some honeycomb as well. I picked up apricot and date along with some fig jam. The body was on the medium side, which was surprising given the ABV of the beer. It had a lot of carbonation. The finish was sweet and sticky and hung around for awhile. I picked this beer up for $20, which came to $.91 per ounce, which is a bit pricey, but for something this unique, it was worth it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Off Color Hell-Broth

Tonight’s selection is another Off Color beer with an exceptionally cute label. Let’s see how it was.

hellbroth

ABV: 6.3%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to tenemu.com, “This time hell is not coming on wheels, but in a beer.

Chicago, Ill.-based brewery Off Color Brewing and Denmark-based Amager Bryghus have collaborated on a new beer named Hell Broth, a 6.3 percent ‘Danish-style’ American wild ale. According to filings with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the beer is brewed with pils, flaked wheat and Vienna malts, herkules, sterling and hersbrucker hops as well as cranberries, juniper berries and lemon blossom honey. Hell Broth is packaged in 750ml bottles ($20) and will have a three bottle per person limit when it is released an event at the brewery on March 19.”

Random: Why is “This Old House” going to a meadery? This doesn’t even make sense.

The brew poured with a half a finger white head that dissipated by the time I took the picture. The body was a murky yellow with a generous amount of carbonation visible. The nose had notes of evergreen and spruce along with juniper. It also had some funk and apples with cranberries. The taste start with yeast and funk. It had a light sweetness initially from the honey, but quickly went into juniper, cranberry and spruce. It had some lemon juice as well, but it didn’t overwhelm the other flavors. The body was on the lighter side with a nice amount of carbonation. The finish was quick and herbal with juniper. Val picked this beer up for me as a gift, so no commentary on the price. I enjoyed this beer because of the unique flavors and how it paired with the funk. I would highly recommend this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0