Where can I find a barrel and a waterfall?

The mildly hoppy aroma complements the hints of clove flavoring quite well.  The taste lingers on your tongue long enough to be enjoyable without being overdone.  Not overly hoppy, just enough to let you know they’re present, but not enough to have to do the roof of the mouth/tongue smack thing.  It’s not a beer that I would typically buy, but I’m glad that I joined Brew 52, otherwise I would probably have never just picked one up.

By the end of the bottle, the spice-y aftertaste begins to take hold.  I wonder how my breath smells to other people after drinking this?  By the way, the guy on the bottle reminds me of a lot of the empty suits I see walking in the skyway during lunch hour.  Classic.  Re: the bottles being too big? I disagree.  Just better for sharing the wealth, though my girlfriend didn’t like it much.  Oh well, more for me I guess.  Things could be far worse.

Woo, citrus-y!

I guess when I saw “Belgian” I expected it to be a little sweet. It’s not really, but it certainly is crisp. Nice, neat finish.

I usually reserve beers I really like to be consumed alone, and stuff I could take or leave I’ll eat with food. This finds a nice spot in the middle. I had it with pizza, but it was flavorful enough to stand up for itself without taking away from either the eating or the drinking experience.

with a name like that

So I shared a bottle of Frame Straightener with the wifey on Sunday and enjoyed it overall. I was pretty shocked to see Nick’s review, but I figured he just had some beef (like his girlfriend left him for one of the Brau Brothers or something). Then I saw a few more of the “bad batch” reactions so I went out and bought another six pack last night to try again. It still tasted good to me, but I agree that it’s just missing a bit of the impact…like Josh said, it tasted a bit watered down. Truth be told, I think the real reason I’m bothered by this lack of “pow” is that with a name like Frame Straightener you expect a powerful flavor. Oh well, I still like it and will have no problem finishing off the sixer.

A Lesser Belgian

I was really looking forward to this beer after the Flat Earth version but this just seems like a watered down replica in comparison. The Frame Straightener has a light Belgian taste but it doesn’t grab my attention. I can smell the hops but they don’t come across in the flavor.

I don’t think I ended up with a bad batch like some of the other reviewers but this beer doesn’t do much for me.

Not…quite…exactly…right

“How fortuitous / that these brothers’ mother did / meet a Mister Brau”..Haiku #6 for you!My second Minnesota-brewed Belgian pale of the night, having just finished a Flat Earth. Not my favorite style, but it has it’s charms. Cloudy crimson colorings, little head on it. Aroma of soft, ripe fruit, yes, plums are detectable, also apple, grape. Fruit is big, followed by Belgian yeast character, and malt. A little spice, maybe. Bolder,  brighter, spicier, frutier in the flavor. A little louder than it ought to be, maybe missing some malt/yeast character to give it identity. But it has some appeal, easy drinker, interesting flavor, just …not quite…exactly…good. Like that jigsaw with the missing pieces that were probably eaten by the dog years ago…it’s just not together. The problem is, it’s okay as it is, but should be a lot better. 

Safe at first through home.

In his explanation for going with the 22oz bottles, Jeff from Flat Earth stated something to the effect of “if you’re going to indulge in a beer, indulge.”  Not an exact quote, but I agreed with what he said.  The Belgian Pale Ale was just right in the big bottle.  Not too pungent or syrupy to get sick of after a few sips.  Refreshing with a sweet, hinting at fruity, tatse.  A solid alternative to more hoppy beers – if that’s your taste.  I, personally, am not terribly descriminate. 

its not you, its me

Dear Belgian-Style Pale Ale, I have decided to stop seeing you for awhile. I started our relationship off with high hopes, and feel I have put more into it than you have. I dont thinks its you, it may be me. I acknowledge your Belgium yeast-e-ness, and biscuit-e-ness; but i just cant quite get a taste for a long term relationship. Maybe in the future we will try this again?

blizzard of ’07

Thoroughly enjoyed this beer on tap. I found the beer a bit different the next time I had it, in the bottle, but overall found it enjoyable.

Just picked up another 6 pack to sample and review. Definitely will be picking this beer up again, hopefully Big Top has them for $3 a six pack again towards the spring like last year.

Beer starts with a prominent carbonated crisp, followed by a quick sweat note, then a slight spice I associate with belgium yeast, then as the beer goes down the gullet I am left with a lingering sweat note. Now on to bottle two, oh ya, it smells good too!

Belgian Session Ale

Most Belgian beers tend to be more like wines in alcoholic heft and complication of flavor.  It’s nice to see a Belgian style which does not want to knock me over, and I can enjoy a few with friends, or pair with a meal.  I enjoyed this beer.   It has a great fruity flavor from the yeast and a nice spicy bite from the German hops.  It is subtle enough that it complements almost any meal, but I noticed the best return with salty fried foods like calamari or onion rings.   The fruit and the hops really come to the fore with that tasting, go figure. 

Flat Earth falls a bit flat, then rounds out.

I’ll be honest. I really wanted to like this beer – and I had high hopes. The label was non-offensive, the size was just up my alley (and I didn’t have to buy a 6-pack!) and the color was perfect. I decided to enjoy this brew with my Friday night pizza, just like the local brewers suggested. Thankfully, I imbibed before gorging, because the beer was actually good – before the Italian cuisine. However, once I added the pizza to my palette, the beer tasted like . . . old people. Thankfully, the 1 pint 6 oz size allowed for this error; after finishing the pizza and cleansing my palette, I tried again. This time, I was probably a bit under the influence, but I do believe the Earth came full circle and was enjoyable once again. 

Excellent!

I think my store just go this in today! So I braved the -30 windchill and got some. I am glad I did because this is a very tasty beer. I have decided week three is time to break out my new scientific system: the Mac-curate! Beer Rating system:

Taste:  3 out of 3 stars–drink it!

Cost: 1/2 out of 1 star

Other: 1/2 out of 1 star — I always like a big bottle of beer plus it feels like -30 outside (I drink to forget!!)!

Total: 4  stars

A Brew52 First! My Wife and I Agree On This Beer

I know, stop the presses.  My whole bit has been the, “I hate this beer” and “My wife loves it” routine.  Well, more like, “I hate this beer” and Alyssa “doesn’t hate this beer.”  But I digress.

We really enjoyed the Flat Earth Pale Ale.  I reserved this beer at the Maple Grove liquor store,  Princeton’s, and have been saving it.  I’m glad I saved it for this occasion.  The occasion of reviewing it.

The finish is clean, there’s no aftertaste, the flavor is full and enjoyable.  I don’t usually like pale-ales, but I really liked this.  The label says this beer has hints of “raisin, cherry and toast.”  I really enjoyed the toast aspect of the beer.  Toast-tastic, as far as I’m concerned.  Toast-tastic.  I also like how they recommend pairing the beer with “steamed mussels, pizza, a rack of lamb, or even a char-grilled steak.”  I guess it goes with everything.

Anyway, this review has gone on too long.  My only regret is that I shared this beer with a fellow reviewer, Tim Furnish.  I wish I kept the whole thing for myself.

Unique and Tasty

This beer and others like it are the reason I really enjoy this site/festival. I wouldn’t normally go looking for a Belgian-style pale ale but I was quite surprised with how well the two styles mesh.

The guy on the label seems to be happy with this beer despite his impending, waterfall induced, death. I too would be less concerned about my watery grave with this fine beer in hand.

Points for trying

German brewery / makes Belgian abbey dubbel / not half bad, at that. There you go, haiku #1…don’t worry,  they’ll get better.(wait…is “belgian” two syllables or three?)I reviewed this from a bottle back in November, for beeradvocate.com, gave it a 4.05 (out of 5). But for this site, I feel I should do it fresh and stay in the game, so I stopped in at McKenzie’s last night to taste it on tap. A 20 oz pint for $4.25 during happy hour.Didn’t like it as much this time. Poured a clear, deep garnet hue, with small head, very sweet nose, flavors of dark fruit and light spice, turning dry and peppery.Mix of the same continues in the taste, berries match cocoa powder, rounding out dry and balanced, with easy drinkability.However, the body is too light, and there’s just not enough meat on this dog’s bones to really do justice to the style. I love dubbels, consider them my favorite style of beer, and would rank Ommegang, Westmalle, & St. Bernardus  as the top for me. This version falls among the lower tiers, sorry to say. I’d like this darker, as well, and without the syrupy sweetness that pops in from time to time.  Still, props to this old, tradition-bound brewery for giving it a go! Who knows what’s up next from them? 

Way better than I expected.

Schell’s Snow Storm reminds me of a milkshake stout, but lighter, less creamy, and less sweet. Still a little sweet, though. I generally like my beer dark, heavy, and sweet. This is tasty enough but also light enough that I could drink a lot of this. With every sip I waited for a sour aftertaste, but I never got it. This ain’t no sippin’ beer.

I’m glad I didn’t read the label first, because while I like the beer, it’s not nearly as tasty as the label makes it sound – “complex malt flavor, with hints of raisins, dark fruit and rum.” What the heck is “dark fruit”?

A Good SnowStorm!

Pretty good! I’ve always had mixed results with Schell’s beer, but I like this one.  I guess the thing I like the best is that it is a somewhat interesting beer, not boring. Of course I’ve had a lot better (and more interesting), but I’ve also paid a lot more for most of those than I did with this beer! The more I drink it the more I like it!

Better with age

As usual, I was excited for this year’s Snowstorm–I loved last years Sweet Stout.  I brewed my first Dubbel this fall, and have gotten pretty heavily into the Belgians in the past year, and so was intrigued by what Dave had to offer. My first impression when I had it a month ago was that maybe my homebrew version had a slight edge, while recognizing that it’s much easier to produce 5 gallons than 500 gallons. Over xmas I had another bottle, and I must say it’s improved.  I put a couple away for next year, when I expect it will be off the charts.

It’s a Wintery Mix

My wife just took a taste (she doesn’t love beer. she mostly dislikes beer) and her one word review: “Yuck.” I have a more luke-warm opinion of this beer. It’s slightly sweet, and kinda darkish, and I think it’s not bad. It’s like seeing a nice snowstorm, but then it turns rainy, and in the end, it’s a little gross but a little okay.

It’s better than I expected but worse than I had hoped. I probably wouldn’t buy this beer again.

mildly surprised

Sometime in autumn, the cold trips a switch in my body and I suddenly want cookies, cake, pie and darker, heavier, sweeter beer. Generally speaking, hoppy pale ales, lawnmower beers and tripels are out. Barley wines, imperial stouts, porters and dubbels are in.

A beer like this Snowstorm is what I want when it’s cold outside. It’s not the best dubbel I’ve ever had, but the flavor is there and the body is almost there. It tastes, looks and feels like a fairly typical dubbel. As it warms up, it’s getting better.

I don’t mind Schell beers, but I don’t often buy them. I would have been really surprised that I like a Schell’s offering as much as I do if I hadn’t read that others were surprised by how good it is.

Reminds Me of Summer

I cracked a Snowstorm expecting to have some dark winter stout. I was totally caught off guard when the beer tasted more like the Hefeweizen I brewed in the late summer. I quickly turned the bottle around and read that the Schell Brewmaster tries out a different recipe for Snowstorm each year and that this year it was brewed with a Belgian yeast. What an awesome idea! I couldn’t really taste the raisins or rum that they describe, but it definitely has a light, slightly fruity taste. A little bit of summer was just what I needed on a cold-ass Minnesota day.