Friday, October 29, 2010

OMFG - Beer Review Series - Can Beers

Can beers are here to stay. I tried a few over the past month and my reviews are below but here is a quick history of the can, how it works, why its kick ass and why you should not fear the CAN! Yes, craft breweries have been canning beer since 2001 when Cask Brewing Systems developed a new system for small breweries. Oskar Blues was the first to use it. There has been a surge in craft cans in recent years though, and in 2010, they have gained a significant amount of attention, even from mainstream media outlets.

  • Cans actually lock in the flavor of beer better than even dark glass bottles. No light penetrates the cans and the seal is tighter than a bottle cap. Thus, your beer tastes fresher longer. 
  • Cans are more environmentally friendly. They are easier to recycle and require less packaging. 
  •  Cans are cheaper for the brewery and distributor to ship. Cans don't break. 
  • Cans are easier and more convenient to bring along on outdoor activities such as camping, disc golf, hiking, a day at the beach and any other activity that affords you the luxury of enjoying good beer! 
  • Cans get cold pretty damn quick and take up less space in your fridge!

How its done the craft way:
I was fortunate enough to try the Tokyo Black Porter this weekend and was really impressed. The beer pours super dark and opaque. It has a one finger tan head that quickly recedes to a brown ring around the glass.  (looks a lot like Coca-Cola) Nose is straight up coffee and dark malts.
First sip was chocolate, really full body with a smoky aftertaste. Once the beer warms the coffee is more prominent and some vanilla starts to peak through.
Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is light. It makes this beer really easy to drink despite the bold flavors.
GUBNA was the second can beer I tried this weekend. People either love this or hate it. I fall on the side of …unsure? I think it’s a great beer but I am not completely sold.
Pour Light diluted copper with a medium amount of chill haze, or more likely a haze from excessive hop additions. A thin white head forms along the sides of the glass, though not across the top of the entire beer. Alcohol presence aids in good lacing down the sides.

Smell hits you right in the face. Lots of odors going on here, most notably the floral hop notes and pine resin. Also whiffs of wheat grass and barley. This is very earthy and rural-smelling. Be ready for this one or it will end your palette. It runs full force with a mack truck of hops to smash your grill with flavors rich and sweet. Once your teeth are demolished the flavor train will then go on to compress the sides of your tongue with the bitter citrus of righteousness. If you think the assault is over it is a mere reprieve until the final thrust to back of your mouth. 

You thought swallowing would end the attack? You were wrong. The aftertaste of dry, crisp justice pervades every square inch of the inside of your mouth while the 10% ABV volatizes it way up your unsuspecting sinuses into your nasal cavity. Eventually you'll be gasping for air just to end the ecstasy, unless you're a masochist for pleasure and decide to venture another sip. I thought it was a nonsessionable IIPA but fun to drink none the less. 


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