12 BeersHere’s a variety pack with lots of variety: 12 bottles of 12 different beers. Saranac is brewed by FX Matt in Utica, NY, which is the same brewery that contract brews all of Brooklyn Brewery’s bottled offerings and some of their kegs. Now, Saranac beers aren’t always as interesting, rich or flavorful as what they brew for Brooklyn. But for $10.99 for a 12-pack, there are some real winners in this box.

I haven’t even made it through all 12 yet, but so far the Bock is a well-hopped, full-bodied rendition of the traditional German style. It pairs amazingly well with Buffalo wings… the hops stand up quite well to the kick of the hot sauce. If only they would sell it outside of the variety pack!

Other nice selections are a tasty Mocha Stout (a little thin in body, but rich in flavor), a Chocolate Lager (think of this as a “light” stout), and their delicious Black Forest (dark, malty, and full of caramel flavors). Only the Rauchbier was a disappointment… this take on a traditional German ‘smoke’ beer just wasn’t smokey enough for my taste.

Of course, if there’s a beer you don’t like, there’s only one in the box, so you won’t get stuck with a bunch of bottles you don’t want. At the same time, if there’s a beer you really like, the problem is there’s only one in the box!

Definition: Bock

Bock literally means “goat” in German. So, why call your beer a goat? Maybe because of the ‘kick’ this relatively high-alcohol lager will give you! A traditional Bock is typically a strong, dark, malty brew with hardly any noticable hop flavor. While overall a somewhat sweet brew, a slight bitterness in the finish is not from the hops but from the roasted grains.

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blue moonBlue Moon is a pretty tasty Belgian-style Witbier that is attracting a good number of beer drinkers who want something different than Bud, Miller or Coors. But note that it is a Belgian-style beer (i.e., not really from Belgium), and while it may appear to many to be a microbrew, in fact it’s a product of the Coors brewery:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06324/739907-34.stm

So, is there anything wrong with enjoying a beer brewed by Coors? I’ll leave it to you to decide. But if your beer-drinking palate favors Blue Moon, I’d suggest trying any of a number of other quality craft-brewed witbiers, such as Allagash White from Maine, Ommegang Witte from Cooperstown, NY, or Blanche de Chambly from Quebec. There’s also the true Belgian original, Hoegaarden, which is now brewed and distributed by the makers of Stella Artois (InBev), making it easier to find these days (although some say it’s not quite the same ever since the big brewery took over).

Definition: Witbier

A Wit (or Witte, or White) beer is an unfiltered wheat beer that is flavored with orange peel and corriander, with other spices sometimes thrown in for good measure. It’s highly carbonated, and it’s light body and citrus flavors make it a very refreshing summertime brew.

Woo Hoo!!! We’re blogging… with beer! More to come soon…

In the meantime, visit www.apintofknowledge.com

Cheers!

Keith