scott biely | what i like about brew | nov. 2019
November in Wisconsin is a confusing time of year and is often a flip of the coin as to whether or not we are going to get a late fall or an early winter. The leaves are all but gone, the days are short and if you're not careful the daily wardrobe routine starts to consist of work clothes, pajamas, repeat. November is also the time we prepare ourselves for the upcoming beauty and beast that is winter. We are now officially on the fast track to the holidays and before you know it 2019 will be coming to a close.
For craft beer, November is a time of transition. Oktoberfest beers which have dominated for the past couple months step aside and other exciting styles take center stage. Stouts and Porters become even more popular. Adjuncts such as coffee and peanut butter add a little extra warmth to the brews we enjoy. Here are a few beers I feel you should give a try as November rolls on. Have a safe and very wonderful Holiday Season.
Karben4 Brewing (Madison, Wis.)
Chocolate Hazelnut Stout
5 percent ABV
A style that continues to grow its presence in Wisconsin is that of a sweeter style of stout or porter. I'm not talking about a sweet stout where lactose sugar is added, I'm talking about a stout or porter where things like peanut butter and vanilla are added to create a nice sweeter dark beer. One beer that has recently hit the streets and is proving to be very popular is Notella from Karben4 Brewing.
This beer, as your inner child can probably tell from the name, is made with chocolate and hazelnut. Notella pours a deep brown color and the hazelnut and chocolate aromas are easy to pick up with even the slightest whiff. The flavor is right on the same point and it feels like you are drinking a liquid version of the extremely popular hazelnut spread. The beer finishes very clean and urges you to take another drink. This seasonal offering from Karben4 Brewing is definitely worth checking out before its gone.
Ahnapee Brewery (Algoma, Wis.)
Cream Ale with Coffee
5 percent ABV
The first thought that comes to mind when looking for a coffee beer is that of a stout. This combination has been a favorite of many for quite some time. The dark roast of the malt and the boldness of coffee produces a flavor combination beer fans love. Ahnapee Brewery's Café Blonde switches that up a bit. Café Blonde takes a delicious Cream Ale and brings in a wonderfully light coffee flavor. Unless you hate or are allergic to coffee, this beer is worth checking out.
Made with Door County Coffee, Café Blonde is the perfect combination of beer and coffee. The maltiness of the beer and the roasted coffee work very well with each other and the result is delicious a brew. It's hard to believe you are drinking a cream ale. The blonde color of the beer can definitely throw you for a loop. Café Blonde is just the light and refreshing coffee beer the month of November needs.
4 percent ABV
Year after year sour beers gain popularity with craft beer drinkers. More and more this style is attracting new drinkers, especially with sessionable sours. A pleasantly refreshing tartness is something many craft beer drinkers are looking for in a beer. Low pHunk from MobCraft Beer is definitely a sour ale you should check out. I mean it did just bring home a gold at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival. That's a pretty awesome accomplishment.
MobCraft Beer's Low pHunk is a sour ale made with saccharomyces (brewer's yeast) and lactobacillus (bacteria) to create a nice little phunky brew. This sour ale is the definition of sessionable. Clocking in at four percent alcohol by volume and providing a non-face puckering flavor, this is definitely a sour beer you can drink a few of. Another interesting aspect is this beer is that it is made using a solera technique. This process, to oversimplify, blends some of the previous batch of beer with the new batch of beer. This creates a finished product layered with generations of goodness. Do yourself a favor and give this gold medal beer a try.