CLEVELAND, Ohio – Our beer-review column has an array of different styles this month. We focus on beers from out-of-state and out-of-region. This month’s batch covers an alcohol range of 4.6% to 10.2%. All the beers are available on Northeast Ohio store shelves. Cheers!
Flying Monkeys Brewing Co., Barrie, Ontario, Triple India Pale Ale, 10.2%
Billed as an “extra strong beer,” this big IPA has clean notes of peach but is not fruity or sweet, a strong hop backbone and slight alcohol on the finish. It’s an under-the-radar brewery that opened in 2005, has been in Northeast Ohio retail distribution for about eight years, and doesn’t shy from crazy styles (imperial maple wheat, for instance). We’re a particular fan of its Smashbomb Atomic IPA.
New Holland Brewing Co., Holland, Michigan; Brown Ale, 6.5%
Nice root-beer flavor, just slightly sweet, very smooth, good body. This is a great brewery that has me enjoying a style I do not gravitate to very often.
Cloverleaf Irish Stout
Outerbelt Brewing Co., Carroll, Ohio; Stout, 4.6%
The color of engine oil and very low in alcohol, this ale has notes of toast and is very smooth. Stouts vary quite a bit by sub-style, and this Dry Irish Stout is billed as having notes of coffee and bitter chocolate. If all you see with Stouts are the big boys – high-alcohol Imperial versions – give this a try.
Carlsberg Group, Hamburg, Germany; Pilsner, 4.9%
Slightly sweet, extremely quaffable, with yeasty-bready notes on the back end. A fine aperitif before a good meal, so as not to get filled up, or a quencher after yard work. An eye chart of a name. The brewery says the heart on the label symbolizes love and fun while the anchor represents the “rough and tumble heritage” of the folks in the region where it’s from.
Equilibrium Brewery, Middletown, New York; Double India Pale Ale, 8%
Grapefruit, maybe some stone fruit notes, just a little pithy, with a creaminess on the finish in this hazy IPA. Great body, delicious ale. Made with Riwaka and Galaxy hops. Love the message on the can: “Help us ensure cold chain! Purchase cold + trade cold + keep cold. If it’s not cold, ask why.” Good point: When storage-temperature settings shift from warm to cold to warm, etc., that temperature inconsistency affects the beer’s taste.
Dortmunder Actien-Brauerei, Germany, Lager, 5%
Nothing crazy, very clean-tasting, hops come out on the finish. A thirst-quencher of a beer. A reminder: It’s almost lawn-mowing season.
Yabba Dabba Brew
Homestead Brewing Co., Heath, Ohio; Double India Pale Ale, 8.1%
Interesting DIPA from this brewery, which is about 35 miles east of Columbus. Definitely not yielding typical grapefruit notes. It’s more watermelon, with a nice dryness and hops sifting across the palate.
Pretentious Barrel House, Columbus, Sour Ale, 5.1%
Lemon and lime on the palate with good carbonation. Hops and malts are balanced, and the latter comes through cleanly. Not overly sour. Billed as having tropical notes, which are there faintly, but don’t expect a hazy bomb of an ale. Very drinkable for those of us who are willing to try a sour now and again but don’t drink it regularly.
This month’s favorite: Roowaka.
Our reviews: Most of the beers we buy come from Northeast Ohio retail shops and stores. We choose from Lizardville in Copley, plus Heinen’s, Red, Wine & Brew; Acme, Giant Eagle, Mustard Seed Market, Whole Foods and others.
Like beer? Check out GiveThemBeer for gifts for beer lovers. The company offers craft-beer baskets, seasonal selections and more.
2022 monthly beer reviews
For January, we tried 6 beers from breweries in 6 states
Warm yourself with these beers for February: 8 sippers for cold nights
For March, we sipped 7 beers from Ohio to Texas to Colorado and beyond
I am on cleveland.com’s life and culture team and cover food, beer, wine and sports-related topics. If you want to see my stories, here’s a directory on cleveland.com. Bill Wills of WTAM-1100 and I talk food and drink usually at 8:20 a.m. Thursday morning. Twitter: @mbona30.
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