Beer Profile: Southern Tier’s Manhattan Ale

Profiled by Ken Carman

 I had to write this after I got home, had supper and did several other things, so apologies in advance for anything I missed. The delay immediately caused one snafu: I had thought it was named “Martini,” but with a little research I am sure it was Manhattan Ale. Which makes more sense: only because Martini made no sense at all. Manhattan? Well, the ingredients are similar, but not the same by any means. No problem with that: whatever it takes to make a great quaff. This is what they did and beyond.
 It looks like 10W-40 in a glass: sure as hell doesn’t taste like it. No head, slight carbonation at best: it doesn’t need either. The abv and bourbon barrelling probably took care of that.
 If you’re looking for a high grav sipper with lots of flavor, this is it. Closing in on almost but not quite light brown, this dirty amber brew has great clarity. Nirvana for a high gravity lover. No head: with the barreling, the gravity, the surface tension due to that gravity, I wasn’t expecting much. Light carbonation: doesn’t need much. Heavy carbonation would ruin the experience.
 The aroma is like the flavor: light rum barreling, way in the background caramel, extremely light hopping: so light it’s hard to discern. Perhaps just a hint of herbal, but not enough to label. The flavor follows aroma plus MA finishes confusing. Slight dry and slight sweet at each sip it is complex and exciting, yet demands you do so slowly: which is good because this could really kick you into Never Neverland. Came in an 8oz glass: praise the beer gods because it was my one drink before I popped over the hill to home.
 No Munich, maybe a hint of Maris Otter and caramel malt(s), otherwise this is pure pale and a hell of a lot of it. Hint sweet. The bourbon barrel is more evident in flavor than aroma, but that’s not all that hefty either. It’s a supporting actor to the star of the “heft:” malt. Any malt not pale stays mostly off stage. Maybe a hint of pilsner? Aftertaste/finish is, of course, sweet malt, and a hint of bourbon. The cherry, orange peel and coriander are way off stage. They just provide a great background. Coriander close to absent.
 If I had to blindly guess the style: American Strong Ale. If not that: Barleywine: a bit more Brit than American due to low hopping. But I lean more towards a barreled American Strong. (I found out after I typed most of the review I was right.)
 Mouthfeel is full, malty, vinous; like a glass of hefty wort. The alcohol is obviously high but not hot, not intrusive: it lingers like a maid or butler off to the side or to the back of the stage while the basic malt is in the spot light. (At 14.1 that’s brew TALENT!) Hint of caramel at best. I’m wonder if the mash stuck on this one it’s so malty.
 Thanks to Matt and Screamen Eagle for this delightful quaff. I’ve had a lot of great beers at this 50 tap Inlet brew mecca, but this may qualify as one of the best. The highest rating I’ve EVER given a beer, and I’m a somewhat high grav pro having run a high grav mostly competition for 5 years and a beer tasting focusing in on high grav since 2006. BTW, I probably will NEVER give a 5, just like giving a 50 in a competition may never happen. To get there I need to die and go to the perfect afterlife!
 This brew is exquisite.

 90 at Rate Beer, 70 for style. 4.04 out of 5 at Beer Advocate. 3.88 at Untappd. American Strong Ale. 14.1abv. Here is what ST says about it…

 Introducing Manhattan Ale, inspired by the ever timeless cocktail. We brew this ale with cherry juice, orange peel and coriander then age it to perfection in bourbon barrels. It’s a midtown metamorphosis that harmoniously brings our two passions to life in one glass.

4.8

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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________________________________Beer HERE

Why Volunteer at Homebrew Competitions?

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Two weekends ago, I spent an enjoyable Saturday at the For What It’s Wort competition at Destihl’s brewery in Normal, Illinois.  It is sponsored by the Association of Bloomington-Normal Brewers (ABNormal Brewers) and they did an excellent job organizing it.  Bloomington-Normal is a two-hour drive or Amtrak ride from downtown Chicago, and while I don’t know everyone, I think I was the only judge from the city, with a couple of other judges from the suburbs.

Want to read more? Please click… HERE!

Chinese Government Must Act on Vaccine Issues


As the craft landscape has become increasingly competitive and as growth has slowed, some craft brewers are beginning to alter their approaches to expansion.

While some companies have restructured their sales and marketing teams and laid off employees, others are starting to reexamine their brick-and-mortar strategies. Take the divergent paths of Other Half Brewing Company in Brooklyn and Renegade Brewing Company in Denver, for example.

Other Half yesterday announced that it had purchased the former Nedloh Brewing Company facility in Upstate New York, which closed in October 2017, for $660,000. The 4-year-old, 8,000 sq. ft. facility, which includes a 10-barrel brewing system and taproom, will be transformed into a second location for Other Half as it looks to service demand in a more emerging market.

Want to read more? Please read… HERE!

What Determines the Color of Beer?


Did you know all beer is red? We don’t perceive all beer as red, of course, but deep down in its molecules, it is. Since all beer is red, what determines the color of beer?

Grain is by far the strongest coloring agent in beer, and grains are colored by melanin, a rust-red pigment that drives the color of beer. But what about Pale Ales and Imperial Stouts, you say? Some beers don’t appear red at all. As with most questions about beer, the answer involves chemistry – in fact, a number of factors can affect color, and we’ll take a closer look at all of them. We’ll also examine what beer color can (and can’t) cue us to expect in terms of flavor, as well as how beer color is measured and described.

The Chemistry of Color

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Deschutes “The Ages: As in “One For…”

Learning how to say the word Gueuze is maybe the hardest part of learning about this quirky, exotic style of ale. Broken down into its phonetics, the pronunciation begins with one of those odd, half-swallowed syllables that comes out to “guh-YOOZ-eh”, with just a bare hint of that “eh” on the end, which is the proper Belgian way of saying it. But for purposes of our dumbed-down, non-Euro language facilities, saying “GOOZ-uh” works just fine.

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Episode 71 – A Little Hair Of The Dog


It’s our annual post conference wrapup and we hit the latest in beer news, look at some new books and revisit some really old brews. And then in the lounge, Drew sits down with the iconic craft brew veteran, Alan Sprints of Hair of the Dog. We taste some beers and talk about his unqiue take on building beers. There’s even one beer that Drew thought should be a mess, but was amazingly sublime.
Want to hear more? Please click… HERE!