As I’ve pointed out before, Bailey’s averages about 5 new beers a week… some times more, some times less. And since I like to know what to recommend, I try to at least test a 5 oz sample of each beer on the week that it’s tapped. I thought it might be a fun feature to make some informed predictions about each new beer out this week here for the public record and then report back later to see if any of them turned out true. So, here goes:
- Lucky Lab Triple Threat IPA- Betcha at least one of these threats is the hops, but more likely the name refers to three different hops used for the IPA. Lucky Lab does some pretty insanely hopped beers, and their SuperDog is always a reliable standby if you’re looking for a Northwest IPA. My guess is that this isn’t quite as hoppy as that beer; I’m expecting a light body, mild sweetness, and big piney bittering hops at maybe 60-70 IBUs all the way through.
- Hale’s Kolsch- I don’t know if I’ve ever had a Kolsch that got me excited. Maybe it’s just not my kind of beer, or maybe it’s just because I haven’t ever had an accurate representation of this German style. Regardless, Hale’s is really going to have to bring their A-game to wow me. The Kolsch is a very light style, lighter than a Pilsner, probably lighter than a Helles or a Blonde Ale, though in this country I think they’re all synonyms for one another. It’s up to the brewer to very carefully add some subtleties that give this style a character beyond being beer flavored water. Knowing that Hales produces solid but mild session beers, I’m a little skeptical that they can pull off the subtlety, but we’ll see.
- Hair of the Dog Greg- A squash beer? I guess that’s not too weird, as I’ve had plenty of pumpkin beers, but… hmmm… I’d be a little nervous about this choice if it wasn’t coming from Hair of the Dog. Their beers are just about flawless. My guess on this beer, by the low alcohol and what I’ve seen so far, is very light, very sweet with probably something kind of funky (the squash) coming in at the end. I predict it will be unique—as all of their beers undeniably are—but not necessarily the kind of beer I’d want every day of the week.
- Anchor Summer- While I’ve had plenty of the Sierra Nevada Summer Ale before, I don’t think I’ve ever had the Anchor version of the style, or if I have, it’s been a really long time. Expecting big citrus notes, probably a little dry, with a medium body and a really light hop bite at the end. Definitely thinking this will be a session beer, but given Anchor’s products, I’m betting the yeast will add something a little quirky to the mix and it won’t be as sweet as some of the other summer ales I’ve had.
- Salmon Creek Oaked Scotch Ale- This is probably the beer I’m looking forward to the most. Don’t really know what to expect, not being much of an expert on scotch ales, but I do love the complex malt character of the style; it’s a delicate balance between becoming overly sweet and not rich enough. The oaked aspect should cut through the sweetness a little and add another dimension, notably, well, oakiness. I’m betting this beer has a number of small, subtle flavors playing around the edges of the sweetness and just a little warmth from the alcohol. Hoping for a bigger body to contain it all.
Anyway, those are my guesses. They’re based on pure speculation and could be totally wrong, but if they taste anything like the style they claim, I can’t be too far off, right? (And if they are, I can just edit this post to prevent myself from looking like too much of an idiot.)
I’ll try these beers and report back to you folks next week with what I discovered… or you can try them out before then and decide for yourself!