A tasting of Free Will Brewery

I found some beer from a brewery called Free Will on my last trip to the beer store.  I never heard of this brewery before, but checking out their website, I discovered that it was founded by 2 guys in 2010.  They started out making beer as a hobby and it has now grown into a fairly large operation in Perkasie, PA, brewing 11 types of beer.     The three beers I sampled were:  Destiny’s Wit, Techno IPA, and Uppercase IPA.

Destiny Wit

Destiny’s Wit is described as a Belgian White.  The website claims it has flavors of orange and lemon peel, coriander and white pepper.  I thought it lacked any character or flavor – to me it tasted like a generic ale with slight wheat in the background.  Very disappointing.

Techo IPA glass and bottle  Techo IPA

IPA’s are some of my most favorite beers so I was anxious to try out the Techno IPA and Uppercase IPA.  To give you a an idea of where I’m coming from, a couple of my favorite IPA’s at the moment are the Two Hearted Ale from Bell’s Brewery and the Southern Tier IPA.   Oh, was I disappointed.  Both the Techno and Uppercase IPA lack any flavor at all.  Imagine drinking a like a low end ale with no character at all and that’s what you get here. yes, there is a bitter bite at the end to remind you that it’s an IPA, but it’s weak and nondescript.

Upper case bottle glass  Uppercase bottle

So all in all, I was very disappointed with these three beers from Free Will Brewery.  I tried each of them several different times, as I really wanted to like them (I purchased a 6 pack of each),  but every time, I ended up junking half the glass in the sink – that’s how bad I feel they are.  There’s just no  flavor or depth at all.  I do not recommend them.

Thank goodness I still have some Southern Tier IPA in the fridge to save the day.

Souther IPA glass bottle  Southern IPA

Have you tried these beers before?  What did you think?

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A tasting of Georg Schneider’s Eisbock, TAP 5, TAP 7

Since my last post, I’ve been able to sample several other beers from Georg Schneider’s brewery.   Here are my thoughts on each of them:

 

The Aventinus Eisbock is a dark,  rich and full of flavor wheat beer.  There’s a dark fruity essence to the beer that goes well with meat based meals.  You’ll taste some flavors of plums, banana as well as almonds.  It’s smooth,  with a hint of bitterness – overall well balanced I though.   I enjoyed it very much.  It has an alcohol content of 12% so it may not suit the light drinkers out there.

 

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The TAP 5, I liked the least.  It had the most “wheat” flavor of all the ones I tried.   It’s supposed to have a flavor of tropical fruit, but to me it lacked flavor and was very dry.  I did not find it refreshing at all.  It has an alcohol content of 8.2%

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The TAP 7 is an amber colored wheat beer.  I found it to be a very good, refreshing beer.  Light and flavorful – a little bit heavier than the TAP4 but not too heavy of a beer for a summer day. Very well balanced.  There’s some flavor of nuts, nutmeg and banana.  It has an alcohol content of 5.4%

 

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All in all, I was very pleased with Georg Schneider’s beers.  I particularly enjoyed the TAP5 and TAP4 which I think are good summer beers.  I also enjoyed the Aventinus Eisbock.   Even my wife enjoyed these and she’s not a big beer drinker.  We both found them to be full of flavors and well balanced.  Neither of us particularly like Hopfenweisse (TAP5) because it has such a dry finish.

 

Have you had a Georg Schneider beer?  What did you think?  Which is your favorite?

Georg Schneider’s Wiesen Edel-Weisse – a perfect beer for a hot day.

This evening, I was in a German mood and poured myself a glass of Georg Schneider’s Wiesen Edel-Weisse TAP4. Why did I wait so long to try it?  Probably because it’s a wheat beer, and I haven’t really liked those in the past. I’ve been missing out…

The TAP4 comes from a brewery in Bavaria called Schneider & Sohn.  It was founded in 1872 by…you guessed it, Georg Schneider I and his son Georg Schneider II.  They have a whole variety of beer with one thing in common –  they all are top-fermented wheat beers (fermented at warmer temperatures with air contact — vs bottom-fermented beers which are fermented at colder temperature and with little air exposure).

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The Wiesen Edel-Weisse TAP4 is an organic beer with an alcohol content of 6.2%.   It has a hint of citrus and no bitterness. It’s an easy to drink, very refreshing beer with excellent flavor and character.  Perfect for a hot summer day (Corona drinkers…you are missing out).   I haven’t been particularly found of wheat beers in the past,  but I must say that this one, along with a few others which I recently tasted during a trip to Belgium, are starting to make me realize I’ve been missing out.

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La Chouffe Ale

For the holidays, I loaded up with various beers to try out and I thought La Chouffe’s golden ale would be a good one to get. I guess I thought the little gnome on the bottle reminded me of Christmas.

La Chouffe bottle

The Achouffe brewery is located in Belgium. While most breweries there have been around hundreds of years, Achouffe is quite young, having been founded in the late 1970’s. This is when two beer loving brother in laws got together to make beer as a hobby. Eventually the word got out that they were making some good stuff, and they were taken over by the Duvel Moortgat Brewery in 2006.

The Chouffe is a golden ale which contains a little bit of coriander. It is 8% alcohol.

La chouffe in a glass

As you can see, it has a beautiful color, but I was a little disappointed whith how it tasted. Perhaps it’s because I drank it shortly after Samuel Adams’ New World, but to me La Chouffe almost felt watery, with very little complexity and right now I’m not sure I’d purchase another bottle. Have you had this beer? What did you think of it?

Samuel Adams’ New World

I recently found several bottles of Samuel Adams’ craft beer, and of course, I had to try them out. The first one I sampled is called “New World”

Sam Adams New World

It is a Belgian style Triple. It has an amber color, and is 10% alcohol. I must say that I was very impressed with this beer. It has a wonderful balanced beer with a fruity aroma (due to the type of Belgian yeast used), a hint of sourness (just enough), and is very refreshing. I highly recommend it. Have you had it yet? If so, what do you think of it?

Sam Adams in the glass

Kwack Beer – fit for the mail man!

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This is a Belgian amber ale made at the Bosteels Brewery which was founded in 1971.  I really enjoyed this beer and highly recommend it.   It has a beautiful color and head, fruity aroma, with a taste that is mellow with a hint of sweetness and very little bitterness. It has a nice long finish. It’s an easy to drink beer, but watch out as It has an alcohol content of 8.5%.    As with all Belgian beer, Kwack has it’s own glass that should be used to drink it, and this one is quite unusual:  

 

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It is said that this glass was conceived by brewer/inn keeper Pauwel Kwak in the early 19th Century for mail coaches.   Back then, coachmen were apparently not allowed to leave their coach and horses during mail delivery.  Paul Kwak specially made this glass so that it could be hung on the coach to allow them to quench their thirst while delivering the mail.   If the USPS had something like that, I might consider switching profession! 

Duvel – fit for a king

To celebrate Belgium’s independence’s day and the king’s coronation (21st of July), I decided to have a toast with a Duvel, one of Belgium’s most popular ale.   Duvel is produced by a brewery called Moortgat brewery which was founded in 1871.  The beer was originally called “Victory Ale” to  commemorate the end of World War 1.  Apparently the name was changed in the 1920s when someone described the beer as “nen echten duvel” (a real devil in Dutch) and consequently the name was changed to “Duvel”. 

The Duvel double is brewed with two hop varieties and has an alcohol content of 8.5% . 

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The Duvel tripel is brewed with 3 strains – the first 2 are the same as in the double, and the third one is changed on a yearly basis. This year, they added a Japanese hop called Sorachi Ace. The tripel has an alcohol content of 9.5%     

 

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It was interesting to be able to taste these two beers at the same time to see what the addition of the third yeast would do. When poured into their proper glass (a Burgundy glass), they both have similar color and a nice light foamy white head. Both are fairly dry. The double gives a quick bitter bite and a medium finish while the tripel has a fruitier flavor, seemed slightly less bitter but with a longer and what I feel was more satisfying finish. I think both would go very well with a hearty meal or as an after dinner drink – perfect for a king’s feast!

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Have you had a Duvel? What do you think of it?