Monday, December 28, 2009

If you can't say anything nice, find something else to drink

I don’t expect it will come as a surprise to anyone that I don’t have any great, “look what I found!” beer stories to relay from the trip to Iowa. In fact, the only Iowa brew I picked up, well a sampler pack from an Iowa brewery to be specific, falls into the if-you-can’t-say-anything-nice-don’t-say-anything-at-all category.

So instead of regaling you with Iowa beer tales, I decided to crack open the two 21st Amendment brews that showed up on my doorstep. Hell or High Watermelon Wheat and Brew Free or Die IPA are two of the most easily found brews of theirs around here, but neither of which I had tried before.

Hell or High is a low ABV beer, weighing in at only 4.9%. The slight fruity aroma and flavor aren’t distinctive enough for me to identify as watermelon but neither do they come off as artificial. Wheat beers aren’t my thing in general and there’s certainly nothing offensive about this brew however I’d issue that warning that if you order one, don’t let it sit around too long. Drink it and be done with it as I found it to be less palatable as it warmed.

Brew Free or Die IPA lays claim to 70 IBUs and 7% ABV. The strong hop aroma leads one to believe this IPA has considerable potential but surprisingly it was booziness, rather than hoppiness that jumped out at me upon drinking it. That’s not to say this isn’t a good beer, simply that from my point of view, there’s more hop aroma than hop flavor.

Taking all four 21st Amendment brews I’ve had into account, I have to say I’m looking forward to seeing more of their product. It’s a toss up between the Monk’s Blood (from the taps at the Muddy Pig) and Black in Back IPA (from the taps at Triple Rock) as to which I prefer, mostly due to having them weeks apart. Were I to have them in succession I’m guessing one would stand out as my favorite. And the IPA and Wheat, while not at the top of my list aren’t bad. There are few breweries that I can say I love their entire line up so with the 50/50 score so far, 21st Amendment is a good addition to the other brews we can get here in Minnesota.

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