Year of New Beer: A Sampler of New Beers

Written By: Dion on 04/22/2016

A sampler of wee beers, all four of which were new to me. Moving L to R: Tiny Pig, Ei8ht Ball Brewing (KY). An unfiltered saison, this one tricks the eyes as it looks like an IPA from Hoof Hearted, but carries the classic spicy, funky traits expected in a saison. One of the better brews I've had from them. Second was Ziggy, Against the Grain Brewery (Louisville). This was described to me as a bock, a style I have minimal experience with. It was, however, fairly malty with hints of toffee and roasted nuts, with a minimal earthy hop bitterness. Not bad, but perhaps a little overshadowed by the relative uniqueness of the others. Third was Blueberry Maple Stout, Saugatuck Brewing (MI). Definite maple syrup on the nose, with traces of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Really nice flavor as the syrup shines on the front, with a subtle blueberry coming after the swallow. Very nice! Lastly was Voorjaar, Monnik Beer Co (Louisville). Another saison, this one looks more the part, and nails the spice and yeasty funk that you expect in the style. If I were introducing someone to craft beer, Monnik would be a great place to start, as Scott Handhas proven to have a deft touch when it comes to making stellar examples of classic styles. And kudos to David Rhoden and crew for continuing to cultivate local and regional craft beer in lil old Georgetown. Toss in some killer empanadas, and I'd call tonight a winner.