Posts Tagged hess
Mike Hess brewing is known for widely palatable beers. St. Patrick’s Day is an occasion for special releases. This past holiday they released a cask of Hooligan Irish Stout (5.5% abv). It poured black with a nice cap of smooth tan head. Aromas included lots of bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts and just a hint of coffee. The drink was smooth, not served too cold and creamy. Medium body and light carbonation lead to an equally smooth finish, with mostly bittersweet flavors trailing. None too interesting, but still festive.
Mike Hess Brewing is a great little brewery in North Park. Walking in, the first thing I noticed were the kettles and mash tuns right at eye level; I was walking above the brewing equipment! At the end of that catwalk was the tasting area straight ahead, with seating to the left and right. The area behind the bar/tasting counter appeared to be a gate or loading dock. The low lighting gave the place the feel of a super hip art gallery. In fact, there were what appeared to be large canvases on the wall, complete with accent lighting.
The beer I decided on was one I don’t really drink much. I went with the Grazias Vienna Cream Ale. According to their website, they named this beer to pay homage to the homeland of Vienna style in which it was brewed. They also wanted to add a touch of gratitude by making the name sound like the Spanish word gracias, or “thank you.”
It poured deep copper with tiny bubbles and creamy white head. Malty sweet aromas met with some coffee on the smell. Nice light carbonation on the taste, with coffee up front. Sweet malts followed and lasted through the middle of the beer. Smooth with medium-light mouthfeel, it finished malty with a little coffee trailing. I enjoyed this beer:
Now that San Diego Beer Week2014 is over, the season is here: Fall pumpkin beers! I am always excited for this time of year, as I like all things pumpkin. Well, let me clarify that by saying I like things that taste like an actual pumpkin, not pumpkin pie- unless, of course, it is actual pumpkin pie. That’s what made this one a pleasant surprise.
As you can see, it poured black, with tan foamy head that reminded me of root beer. Smells coming off the top were rich and included bittersweet chocolate, coffee, slight fruitiness of prunes, maybe a little apple and some spice- a nice complexity that gave me great hope for this beer. The first thing I tasted was the chocolate, followed by what almost tasted like a sourness that I assumed might have come from the pumpkin (if it was made with any.) It had almost no noticeable carbonation, so it was very smooth and velvety, if a little thick on the mouthfeel. It finished a little dry, but the overall roasted malts persisted throughout the whole experience.
Overall, I liked this beer, thought it had a little too much of the cursed pumpkin pie flavor for me. At first, I rated this a 3.5, but it grew on me afterward and I rate it: