The Setting Sun: Five of Vienna’s Best Spots for a Late Summer Beer

A colleague of mine at the Wien Museum (Vienna’s city history museum) asked me over lunch today about some of my favourite places to have a beer in Vienna. It was a fitting question. He had recently participated in a learn-to-brew day at Brauwerk and has kindled an interest in beers beyond his favourite styles. It was also a timely question. Today was my last day at the Wien Museum. Two years in this fine city, and five days left.

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Deschutes Black Butte XXIX: Black Beauty, The Sequel


Deschutes Brewery’s first beer was Black Butte Porter.

Most breweries come out the chute with something a bit less menacing, more crowd-pleasin’. But Deschutes, from Day One, held their company’s slogan, “Bravely Done”, in a octopus-like grip and have operated off that ideal ever since. They arguably have the country’s greatest American-style Imperial Stout – the immortal “The Abyss” – and they tinker with it constantly, gleefully, like a bunch of tweener kids who just found an erector set in the attic. They experiment annually on two of their primary IPAs, “Hop Trip” and “Fresh Squeezed”. They found a barrel of their absolute iconic Winter ale, “Jubelale”, half buried in a snowdrift, after some would-be thieves broke into the brewery and drastically under-estimated the weight of a full 15.1 gallon steel cask, and turned that little disaster into a series of Jubel ice-ale releases, with a crazily high octane version of Jubelale that tastes like Jubelale, only waaaaaay Moreso.

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Beer Profile: Caldera’s Hopportinity Knocks

Courtesy West Coast Beer Geek

Profiled by Ken Carman

82 out of 100 BA, 3.6 out 0f 5 Untappd

I suppose it’s just right for those not expecting more. Strong bitter, really no flavor. Hopportunity has that kind of grapefruit hop nose one expects, but not what one finds when a brewer also plans on fruiting your tongue (or spicing, or floral-ing, or…) as well as bittering. Too many late additions? A tad astringent, which would be fine if there was something else there.

The mouth screams for at least a little malt sense. I understand hops are the star, and I can take super IBU bombs, but I expect at least some complexity.

I have found Caldera a mixed bag brewer. Nothing I’ve had outstanding, nothing really bad.

Mouthfeel? BITTER. The malt comes across as an ever so slight slickness. carbonation is low side medium.

Visually yellow, clarity: tad hazy. Light yellow. Many small bubble head that holds OK.

Again: just a tad more complexity please? Some hop flavor and just a hint more malt might do the trick. As it is it’s a bitter bev that hints there may be some malt way in the background. MAYBE. (Of course there is, but point made.)

3.8

Readers: for now we are using only BA since InBev owns Rate Beer. We may get UnTappd but their site security is done with something that resembles a bad version of Candy Crush!

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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 Profile: Chimay Doree

Profiled by Maria Devan

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Herbal hop smells earthy and green. Reminds me of gruit beer. Invigorating and fragrant but soft spoken.

Drinks like crackers and spice. Crisp, mellow and resounds with a little twinge form herbal bitterness. It’s like suckin’ on a piece a grass under a tree as you walk .

4

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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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Profiled by Maria Devan who lives high on a hill over looking Ithaca, NY. Look! If you live in Ithaca there she is with her field glasses spying on you! Are you drinking a beer worthy of attention. Beware, she’s Ithaca’s beer police. Can’t you hear the siren on he bike as she rolls down the hill? We kid. She’s been writing for us for many years now. We’re lucky to have her.

Beer Profile: Tailgate’s Grapefruit IPA

Profiled by Ken Carman

No score BA, 3.5 UnTappd


Exactly what qualifies this as an IPA? Now a grapefruit Pale a tad low on the hops? I’d buy that. There are hops in this with the slightest bitter and some spicy. But, unless they used grapefruit-like hops, the level is more Pale than IPA. And why would you use grapefruit-like hops in a grapefruit IPA? Seems pointless.

I suspect, if they did, lost in the recipe.

The nose is just like the taste: juicy and a lesser zest sense. The balance there is excellent. Seems to be a very simple pale malt recipe, and a good carbonation level in the mouthfeel. Moderately low body, urine yellow with good clarity, white head that fades fast: tiny bubble.

It’s simple, a little boring, but enjoyable. Only less than a 4 because it’s not what the label claims it to be.

3.9

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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 Profile: Mission’s Dark Seas Imperial Stout

Profiled by Ken Carman

90 BA, 3.9 UnTappd

I literally copied and pasted this one then altered some of it. Same problem with one added and a little better hop-wise: not much. Better, but marginally so. Higher alcohols and too much bitter screwed the pooch.(Poor pooch. So much molestation.) I must admit: I’m old school. To me this is too much like a very, very dark double IPA. But it was submitted as an Imperial Stout. Making hops this big of a focus distracts from the darker malt deliciousness/feast that is an RIS. Yes, you have to increase the hops for balance. But if I want “hoppy” I would go an Imperial DPA.

This is my second fav style and they screwed this one up too.

Appearance: no head. No glass coat. Clarity: why even discuss it in an RIS? The excess bitter is a distraction from what should be adark malt feast.

The mouthfeel higher abv harsh and harsh bitter.

Although I prefer the more sweet versions of old, and the astringency is annoying for me;

3.8

Readers: for now we are using only BA since InBev owns Rate Beer. We may get UnTappd but their site security is done with something that resembles a bad version of Candy Crush!

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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 Profile: Nelson’s After Dark Organic Brown Ale

Profiled by Ken Carman

83 BA, 3.5 out of 5 Untappd

Obviously “organic” is a selling point, not a flavor, aroma or mouthfeel concern.

This was sent to me by my brother Ted in Seattle. Nelson is a Canadian brewer in Nelson, British Columbia.

Right up front: this is pretty much a perfect Northern Brit Brown, though the BJCP doesn’t call it that anymore. Personally I think that a mistake. Brit Browns are more diverse than what the 2015 Guidelines have to say about them, and I thought Northern a very distinct style. But… whatever.

This has all the classic sense, well attenuated to the point of being fairly dry, a mostly malt nose that’s brown malt-ish and hint caramel-like sense. Yes, there’s a bitter to it, but subtle, supporting, well balanced. I would say they’re close to even. Reminds me a tad of Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown, only maybe better. I’d have to have them side by side to ascertain that.

The body low medium, the carbonation high side of low but firm.

I could drink this all day. Whereas even a great IPA is wonderful, but after a while it might fry the tongue. This slips down so easy it’s like a comfy tongue blanket, pajamas or extra long night shirt. No coating involved, just comfortable on the palate. But if you’re looking for more of a desert beer you might try to find the ever elusive, sweeter, London Brown, like Mann’s Brown. They’re hard to find: so hard I’m planning on brewing one.

This Nelson brew is an excellent choice any time of year.

4.3

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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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