A Damn Fine Brew

Sir Duluth is pretty much everything I’m looking for in an oatmeal stout. It’s full-bodied and flavorful, and it fits perfectly into my left hand as my right hand is frying up a mess of veggies on the stove. Later, after I’ve had a few more, its warm buzz dulls the sound of the domestic happening three doors down as a stand out on my deck peering up at the stars.

Nice. Very nice.

No complaints here

When I was a kid, I loved to watch my much-older brother make his shambolic homebrew. My favorite part was when he opened a can a malt extract and poured it into the mixture. I never was allowed to taste the sweet sticky syrup, but I sure could smell it, and I could imagine what it tasted like. This beer tastes like that smell, and that’s a good thing.

Normally, I don’t appreciate sweet beers, but this is a rare exception. There’s almost no hoppiness to speak of.  Hand me a bottle and I’ll drink it without complaints, and then ask for another.

This is, like, children’s beer.

Seriously. I can totally see someone getting wrecked on this in high school or college (see review below) because that’s exactly what it tastes like. Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Boone’s Farm. Peach schnapps. SoCo. Lime vodka. Jello shots. Schell Maifest. It fits in well with the lineup.

If you’re looking for a beer that doesn’t cause you to make your “beer face” with every sip, this might be it. It’s really sweet, and fruity in a gross way, not a good way. So start drinking Schell Maibock today, and who knows, by next fall you might work your way up to that keg of Icehouse in the basement.

Summit Extra Bland

One of the bars I frequent most has Finnegan’s on tap for cheap, and I usually order it there as a price/taste compromise. I’ve always found it to have the signature Summit taste, but with far less hoppiness and less flavor overall. Still, it’s a nice beer. I had no idea about the potatoes until I read some of the other reviews, and now as I’m sitting here writing this, sipping on a bottle of Finnegan’s, I can vaguely taste it and now I’m beginning to think it’s kind of gross. Thanks, guys. Thanks a lot.

Best not to think about it.

Schell’s Pils is the kind of beer that’s fine if you’re just drinking it. I could see myself grabbing one out of a tub of ice at a house party, swigging it, and thinking it was a pretty good beverage.

But if you stop swigging and start “tasting,” you quickly realize it’s not so hot. It’s kind of sour as opposed to bitter — not a flavor I’m fond of in a beer. My advice is to buy it in the sampler 12-pack where you only have to suffer through 2 bottles of it. Drink the Caramel Bock first, then move on to the other stuff when you’re too buzzed to care. Keep the 2 bottles of rancid SnowStorm in the back of your fridge for when your brother-in-law visits.

Tastes like home.

I may be a little biased on this beer because it’s made across the street from where I work, it’s on tap in practically every bar in my hometown, and I drink it all the time. Here in Duluth, you can hardly go to the dentist without being handed a bottle of LSS. It’s smooth and citrusy, with a tinge of bitter. It pretty much tastes like every badmitton game I’ve ever played, every picnic I’ve ever enjoyed, every beach bonfire I’ve ever warmed myself next to. It tastes like standing on my porch, watching a storm roll in off the big lake. It’s the keg sweating next to the washing machine while the Black-eyed Snakes perform in someone’s basement. It’s the bottle in my hand while I snowshoe down the middle of the street during a blizzard.

Every sip carries a dozen more memories. This tastes like home.

Seasonal for a Reason

It’s not that all Summit products taste *exactly the same*, but the brand does have a signature taste. I’m a regular EPA drinker, so this beer just reminds me of what I’m used to drinking, but leaves me wanting for more bitterness. I’ll take a malty beer now and then — I mean, I liked the Gluek for what it was worth — but generally, I like some bite.

There’s nothing wrong with Summit Winter, but as far as the Summit products go, well, I’ll stick to the traditionals.

If this beer were a woman…

…I’d run and run fast. The 1pt/6oz bottle I bought at Warehouse Liquors in Duluth was cold, bitter, and a serious drain on my wallet. Luckily, however, this is beer. I’m not a fan of Belgian-style beer (especially the American knockoffs) but this stuff’s got it going on. It’s got a pleasantly dry flavor with a nice bite. I probably won’t be buying another $4.50 bottle, but if I see it in a pub or restaurant, I’ll have it again without hesitation.

A Decent Rental

Listen. When you tear open a 24-pack suitcase of brewskies and crack into a can, you know what you’re in for. So let’s all stop judging Gluek Honey Bock against that darling little ale we sipped at that quaint pub while we were off on holiday, and start judging it for what it is. This here’s canned beer, and damned good canned beer at that.

This beer was never intended to be sipped, sampled, savored, or paired with any kind of food unless the food came from a gas station. This beer is made for drinking, preferably in large quantities, and not from a glass, either.

I’ve still got two-thirds of a case left, and I can promise you that there will be empty Gluek cans all over my yard by week’s end. It’s not great beer by any means, but among the cheap varieties you use to get drunk on, it’s a good beer to rent.