After some unexpected delays, the “I Love Beer Show” finally kicked off their Season 3 Craft Beer Show on November 13th, 2015 at Jimmy and Myrna’s Cantina in Las Vegas featuring some interesting craft beers from two of the best breweries located in St. Louis in the “Show Me” state of Missouri. The “Friday the 13th” Show showcased craft beers from both Urban Chestnut Brewing and Schlafly Brewing, with an interesting selection from Toronto Pilsner brewer Steam Whistle Brewing as well (and of course the usual show surprises). Friday the 13th was anything but scary – In fact, it turned a good day to drink craft beer for sure!
When friends of the show visited St. Louis to go to a Cardinals playoff game, they asked us what the best craft brewery to go to was, so we did some research, contacted the brewers and they generously sent us their selections to feature on the show. The result was a number of great tasting sessionalble beers of all tastes and styles that any baseball fan (or craft beer fan for that matter) can enjoy at the game!
Urban Chestnut’s Schnickelfritz Bavarian Weissbier is basically a Hefeweizen style beer, which came in at a very sessionable 4.8% alcohol and poured a golden color with moderate carbonation. The nosefeel of banana, nutmeg, and clove really stood out along with a light lemony citrus note. We were impressed with the taste of sourdough and herbal hops on the backend, making this a medium bodied but crisp great drinking beer. Overall, an excellent selection that is very strong on the banana and clove with a light smooth taste – drink this!
Then we tried Urban Chestnut’s Zwickel, an unfiltered, unpasteurized, German classic that finishes as a smooth-drinking, vitamin rich, naturally cloudy bier. This 5.2% alcohol Kellerbier / Zwickelbier poured a white head that left quickly with very little lacing. We smelt a honey, biscuit type aroma that smelled a bit yeasty and grassy, but overall very nice. With just a gentle touch of hops, this made for a delicious lager with a really great mouthfeel that is certainly recommended. Zwickel is another great medium bodied beer that tasted really smooth with excellent balance for a bavarian lager, proving once and for all that the folks over at Urban Chestnut know their way around the German beer styles – another show winner!
Nosferatu (Bird of Death) aka Count Orlok was the German blood-sucking vampire Count Dracula. At 5.4% alcohol, this craft beer was Urban Chestnut’s very interesting take on pumpkin beer as it was darker than most pumpkin beers you’d probably taste, pouring a dark (as the name suggests), almost black beer was a scent that immediately hits you with pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, and plenty of nutmeg and cloves. The taste was outstanding! Most pumpkin beers leave you with somewhat of a stale aftertaste, but not this one – it tasted great with a finish to die for. And when you pair it with your favorite Halloween treats… Wow!
At 5.4% alcohol, Oachkatzlschwoaf from Urban Chestnut Brewing was recommended to the show as a very well put together rendition of a traditional Oktoberfest ale, and it did not disappoint! Oachkatzlschwoaf (pronounced “o-cat-zel-schwof”) translated is “tail of a squirrel” and proved to be a very drinkable, well balanced bier traditionally served at Oktoberfest in Munich. Malty, yet no lack of yeastiness and bread to make this a satisfying full lager. We specifically liked the pour color (although we expected darker), the head retention, lacing, and chewy caramel malt influence. Our conclusion was this is a very good representation of the style and another win from Urban Chestnut.
At the midpoint of the show, we switched over to Schlafly Brewing. Their 4.4% English Pale Ale is a smooth, balanced, session beer which poured a honey colored body with a frosty, white, vanilla head leaving hills of lace as it receded and smelled more like an amber than a pale ale. The roasted malts came out front in a big way with some faint orange slice hints, but not much hop aroma. We tasted lots of fruits in this one, combined with bready malts and a yeasty aftertaste resulting in a delicious craft beer selection that you can probably pair with anything. The beer derives its mildly spiced flavor and aroma from East Kent Goldings hops and the London Ale yeast is responsible for the satisfying fruitiness. No one can go wrong drinking this one!
Schlafly’s Kölsch is a classic 4.8% alcohol golden ale that uses a centuries old yeast strain sourced from a famous Kölsch brewer in Köln, Germany. Fermented at 62 degrees, then cold conditioned, it has the delicate fruity aroma of an ale with the crisp, clean finish of a lager. It is brewed with lightly roasted malt and 100% German Noble Hops: Perle for bitterness and Hallertau Traditional for flavor and aroma. We got aromas of lemon/lime and definitely noticed the light bread and grassy floral bittering hops. The light body and sparkling carbonation makes for exactly what you’d like to taste in a Kölsch. It’s no wonder Schlafly won the Gold Medal for Best German-style Kölsch in the World Beer Cup in 2010. If you’re looking for a great take on this style of beer, Schlafly’s nailed it here!
Tasmanian IPA (TIPA) is a 7.2% alcohol special release IPA from Schlafly Brewing, brewed with 100% Australian hops. The Tasmanian hop (Galaxy) is a strong, aromatic variety that creates an entirely different hop aroma and taste than you’d normally get from the Pacific Northwest. The beer poured with a cloudy, hazy golden appearance and immediately hits you with an amazing citrus aroma. Then when you drink it, you get that bitterness and grapefruit flavor that finishes nice and easy without any lasting astringency or alcohol bite. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with a great aftertaste, making it a tremendously well balanced craft beer that everyone on the show loved. The verdict: a world-class absolutely great IPA that any IPA drinker will love! Schlafly has a huge winner with this selection!
Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale blends the spices of the harvest with full-bodied sweetness for a beer that tastes like pumpkin pie (really, it’s that amazing!). The beer poured dark orange/brown with a two finger fluffy beige head with pumpkin pie spicy aroma and a medium mouthfeel that yields to an amazingly great malty aftertaste that supports the fall flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. If you like a Pumpkin Ale that’s extremely bold, you’ve found it – this was the show favorite and maybe one of the best pumpkin ales you’ll taste because of its balance and high alcohol level at 8%.
Then, we went Canadian to honor another MLB playoff team, the Toronto Blue Jays. Steam Whistle Brewing brews one style of beer and they brew it right. Their Pilsner is based on Europe’s renowned brewing standards and tastes great! They use four natural ingredients including spring water, malted barley, hops and yeast – all GMO-free. It poured a golden yellow color with slight floral hop aroma, a sweet honey taste, and a light hop bitterness backend – all of which made for a fine pilsner, and a definite “go to” winner for all you pilsner lovers out there.
But the show didn’t end there! As a bonus, Dameron cranked out a great IPA from Tap It Brewing in San Luis Obispo, California that totally knocked our socks off! It poured a medium golden amber color with a two finger head with great retention and lots of thick lacing. At 7% alcohol, the beer gave off a nice aroma of caramel malt, citrus, tropical fruit. and of course hops. The flavor consisted of mild caramel malt, lemon, orange and grapefruit citrus, tropical fruit, citrus and dank piney hops and finished with citrus rind and piney bitterness. The result is a well balanced Western style IPA with a nicely selected hop bill that delivers herbal flavors and good bitterness.
Finally, Jimmy the Cameraman broke out the Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale. Everyone who watches the Beer Show knows we’re all big fans of Rogue Brewing, so it should come as no surprise that this 5.6% alcohol selection was another big-time winner. What a way to end a show!
Don’t forget to visit us at New Vista Communities bi-annual BrewsBest Craft Beer festival to be held at Town Square in Las Vegas on December 5th, 2015. Get your Living Social discount tickets here.Season 3 episodes are currently in production. Why not be a guest on an upcoming show?