Maria Devan @ Bandwagon: Ithaca, NY

I just put Roguer on the road to Syracuse and I am always sorry to see the weekend end. He and I got the chance to go to Bandwagon… 

Brewpub while he was here and hear from a reliable source that Lars is no longer the brewer there. They have someone else so I was very excited to try their beer. I thought there were some interesting brews there and at least one or two that were exceptional.

First up The Pilsen Schmilsson. Once you see it you will think exactly that. This is no pilsener. It’s cloudy and looks like grapefruit juice. Whitish yellow. On the menu it is called a pale steam lager. At first there was some banana up front on the nose. Soft sweet malt, no real banana in the drink and a fruity middle. Is it a hefe? Crackery malt dries this one out as it drinks and there is a touch of grass and bitterness int he finish. Leaves soapy and splotchy lace. A bit of spice in the aftertaste and I wondered what is up with this beer? By the time I finished it I liked it more than when I smelled the banana and was reading the word pilsen.

Ezra Red Ale – I have had ti before and did not like it much. Darkish amber brown. Hardly any nose. Soft mouthfeel , faint flavors. Some bitterness pikes through at the end a bit of over ripe fruit. Dry and lingers a bit It does have a bit of tartness and a very light caramel.

Rauchbier- loved it! Amber no head smoky mild nose. Little bit of meat. Light sweetness slight floral. Light caramel and a thinnish drink. Good carbonation and a little bit of bitter to finish it. The malt sweetness takes the mid palate and the mild smoke qualities are really captivating. They do not occlude all the other flavors int he beer to the point that the malt has to come up sensually sweet. This was light smoke drinking. You could call it mild in it’s way and it was delicious!

Robust Brown Ale – roasty with a touch of bitterness form roast. Sweet underpinnings and no char. Light caramel, coffee a bit of toffee and some floral backnotes int he drink. I loved this . it was so easy to drink. The roast was not over the edge , there was coffee but it was not too bitter and this was gentle compared to some brown ales.

Doc Rocker Porter – excellent. Toasty chocolately and lightly roasty. Creamy body. Light milky chocolate on a smooth rich but easy beer . Light little taste of the alcohol. Good balance.