THE BREWSKI REPORT Tommy Brewski: My Beer. My Life.

August 30, 2009

Hoegaarden White Beer Review 8.30.09

Hoegaarden's Witbier (White Beer) In All It's Cloudy Glory.

Hoegaarden's Witbier (White Beer) In All It's Cloudy Glory.

The Brewski Report’s Review on Hoegaarden, the Original Belgium White Beer.
File Date: 8.30.09

File Name:  It’s Intuitively Obvious That The Obvious Isn’t Always Intuitive.
The Beer: Hoegaarden Original White Ale
Type:  Witbier or White Beer
Serving:  Bottle, Dark Glass, Long Neck;  11.2 FL OZ Serving.
Stats:  4.90% ABV
Brewer: Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
Country of Origin: Belgium
Brewer Info:  Hoegaarden takes its name from the village of Hoegaarden, in Belgium’s Brabant Province, where the brewing of white beer can be traced back to 1445.  However, around 1955, the last local witbier brewery, Tomsin, closed its doors. Pierre Celis, a milkman, decided some ten years later to try to revive the style. He began the new brewery in his hay loft.  Celis used the traditional ingredients of water, yeast, wheat, hops, coriander and dried Curaçao orange peel known as Laraha. With demand for the product continuing to grow, Celis bought, in the 1980s, Hougardia, a local soft-drink factory that he rebuilt into a brewery.
After a fire in 1985, as is traditional in Belgium, several brewers offered their help. One of these was the largest brewer in the country, called Interbrew (after a merger with AmBev, renamed InBev). Interbrew lent money for the purchase of other buildings to rebuild the brewery. Over time, Celis felt very strongly that the company used the loan to pressure him to change the recipe to make the beer more “mass market”.  Celis decided instead to sell Interbrew the brewery in 1987.  After selling, Celis founded Celis Brewing Company in Austin, Texas, which was later acquired by Miller Brewing. Miller ultimately closed the brewery and sold the equipment and brand names to Michigan Brewing Company.

Hoegaarden's Signature Glass and Logo

Hoegaarden's Signature Glass and Logo

Brewer Brand Hype: Hoegaarden is brewed using natural ingredients – mineral spring water, unmalted wheat, barley malt, hops, yeast, coriander and Curaçao orange peel. Hoegaarden is unfiltered, giving the beer a soft body, cloudy white appearance and thick, frothy head. This beer is particularly refreshing in warmer months and always should be served in its signature hexagonal glass, which keeps the beer colder longer.
Label: A delicious and surprising refreshing taste, naturally cloudy and brewed using a unique recipe of wheat, malted barley and a subtle hint of coriander and orange peel.

The Brewski Review:  And so goes a true conversation at my day job’s morning production meeting between our Operations Manager and one of his direct reports, the HR Manager:

Ops Mgr: ‘The world is competitive.’
HR Mgr: ‘A well trained employee makes them more competitive.’
Ops Mgr: ‘Well, that’s intuitive.’
HR Mgr: (sarcastically) ‘Oh, and “The world is competitive” isn’t intuitive?’
Ops Mgr: (seriously) ‘I don’t believe it was to you.’

This is the world I live in – albeit a mere slice.  Yes, I too must report to the Operations Manager.  I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on this one.

Why I mention this rather useless conversation above is that the results of this beer review were in no way intuitive based upon the bottle as it was pulled off the retailers shelf.  I purchased it, along with a smattering of others, and stuck them in the back of the fridge.  I usually don’t have an agenda when I review beers.  I stick my hand in the back of the fridge and whatever I pull out is what I drink.  This time around I picked Hoegaarden’s Witbier (White Beer).  Little did I know how delicious and exceptional it was going to be.  Luckily, I read the back label before I finished pouring it into the glass.  I don’t know of many beers that have pouring instructions but this is one of them.  Step1: Use Hoegaarden’s hexagonal glass (which I didn’t), Step2: Pour 2/3 into glass, Step3: Swirl bottle, and finally, Step4: Pour rest to form head.  Do quite a bit of swirling since the sentiment at the bottom of the bottle took a while to dislodge.  The beer was oh so smooth and had a quite unique flavor.  As noted, it was cloudy.  Much more so after I swirled and poured the last remaining liquid into the glass.   

Drinkability:  Smooth.  Great tasting.
Appearance: Very pale golden yellow and cloudy in color.
The Buds:  Loved it.  Will definitely drink it again.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.75 out of 5

If there are any instructions a man must read it's on the label for Hoegaarden's White Beer.

If there are any instructions a man must read it's on the label for Hoegaarden's White Beer.

August 23, 2009

Tanner’s Jack Ale Beer Review 8.23.09

TBR's Tanner's Jack Ale Beer Review

TBR's Tanner's Jack Ale Beer Review

Morland Brewery's (aka Greene King)Tanner's Jack in 6 Pack Form

Morland Brewery's (aka Greene King)Tanner's Jack in 6 Pack Form

The Brewski Report’s Review of UK’s Tanner’s Jack Ale.
File Date:  August 23, 2009

File Name:  The G-Man Jacks Us Around
The Beer:  Tanner’s Jack
Type: English Pale Ale
Serving:  Clear Bottle
Stats:  4.40% ABV
Brewer: Greene King / Morland Brewery
Brewer Info:  Morland was a brewery in Abingdon in the English county of Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire). They first brewed in West Ilsley in 1711. It was purchased and closed by Greene King in 2000; and production of the Morland beers was moved to their brewery in Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk.

Greene King Logo

Greene King Logo

Greene King has operated pubs and brewing for over 200 years. Combining successful traditional ale brands with modern forward thinking, Greene King has grown steadily from its base in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk to become a leading pub retailer and brewer. 

Greene King brews all of its beers in Bury St Edmunds, where ale has been a feature of life since at least as far back as 1086. But we’ve taken the traditional art of brewing to new heights, producing what is arguably the finest range of cask ales in the country.  Our beers are as much at home in city centre nightspots as they are in the cosy lounge of the village pub; we’ve taken the traditional craft of brewing and turned it into an art form. No other UK brewer is as committed to cask ale.

Morland's Tanner's Jack Fine Ale

Morland's Tanner's Jack Fine Ale

Brewer Brand Hype:  Tanner’s Jack was named after the old Tanner’s drinking vessels, which were known as Jacks. They were in common use from medieval times through to the 19th century. Leather was used because it was more readily available than pewter, decidedly less costly than glass, and did not break like pottery. Leather was also favored because of its strength allied with its light weight.

Tanner’s Jack is “A soft reddish brown ale with a nutty/malty palette, background sweetness and a smooth finish”.  A smooth tasting cask conditioned premium ale. It has a fuller sweeter taste than traditional ales with more character in the flavor than the aroma. There is background sweetness combined with nutty malty flavors to give a fuller bodied, yet easy drinking premium ale.

The Brewski Review:  Okay, now that the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program has come to an end we can ‘officially’ say that the recession is over and that everything is going to be A-Okay.  I was beginning to worry that he $700B in government handouts wasn’t going to work.  I can only figure figure that the catalyst for the whole government TARPS program to energize the economy was the measly $3B in CARS bailout.  Go figure. Anyway, enough about all this G spending.  If I continue to ramble on you’ll get to understand my real, non-sarcastic opinion on the matter: which, I’m sure, will quickly degrade into a blue streak of profanity.  I’d rather talk about the last beer I drank – Tanner’s Jack.  A UK imported ale that was rather tasty (to which my wife will agree).  I came in a clear bottle, which, doesn’t preserve the contents very well but does make for a nice retail presentation.  It poured with decent carbonation but it didn’t retain it’s head very long.  It went down smooth, wasn’t bitter and had minimal aftertaste.  I thought it was a worthy beverage.

Drinkability:  Yes.  Good ale.
Appearance:  Amber color – resembling the leached tannins at Tahquamenon Falls.
The Buds:  Smooth with minimal aftertaste.
TBR Cap Rating:  4.0 out of 5.

The Tannin Laced Waters of the Tahquamenon Falls State Park - Paradise, MI

The Tannin Laced Waters of the Tahquamenon Falls State Park - Paradise, MI

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