Who are we?
I’m Kat and this is my husband, Marcus.
And, obviously, we’re taking up residence ’round these parts because we love beer. I know I didn’t have to say it, except I kind of did. You know, address the stranger danger.
Some of you might be wondering, what is You’re Bringing What to My Party?!
You know when you have a gathering of friends, everyone brings a six pack/growler/home brew and you end up with That Weird Potpourri of Beer That You Never Would Have Amassed Independently?
Except, now, we’re bringing the party.
Starting today, we’ll be bringing you tasting notes and our take on different beers. Sometimes we’ll taste hometown brews, and other times we’ll sample things you have to beg, borrow or steal for. Typically, we’ll taste beers in groupings of three (watch..this will be the first thing to fall by the wayside) and we’ll give our opinions on each.
What I can promise: there will always be a theme and we’ll always be totally honest. There will be moments where you want to fist-bump with us, and other times where the words you’re reading are going to make you want to hide your head in your hands. That’s to be expected. Hide away. We’re getting our sea legs on this one. So are you.
Since we’re not super-tasters, we will review the tasting notes for the beers before sampling them, rather than going in blind. Why reinvent the wheel, right? We live in a world where more is more and I’d like for us to be able to get a little more in depth when we’re able.
So, I hope we’re all on the same page, because I don’t know about y’all, but I think it’s time to get tasting!
A side-by-side tasting of wheat beers would probably be most appropriate at the beginning of summer. Right?
But, once I was done catching up with Bryan at The Four Firkins over one of their Friday tastings, these were the first bottles that made sense to me. And, for our first column, it’s probably only right that we taste Minnesota beers.
So, with just a few short weeks in the season remaining, we sip.
And, after the pour, in their original order.
According to Surly, Cynic contains floral notes as well as honey, black pepper, peach and apricot.
Kat: It’s weird to admit this but I think this is one Surly beer I have never tried before. Confessional aside, this has a really crisp first bite to it. After the initial taste, you can definitely get the honey and stone fruit flavors as it continues to bloom. That’s when the floral aspect of Cynic’s flavor really starts to open up.
Marcus: Very light. It starts out light and ends light. The taste really peaks midway.
Lake Superior North Shore Wheat
Lake Superior describes its North Shore Wheat as tasting of bread, banana and sunshine. Period.
Kat: There is an initial, muddled rush of flavor. It’s extremely sweet to my palate. I would consider it more caramel/butterscotch than banana OR bread. But that might also be the sunshine coming through. It’s wonderfully vague as the tasting notes in that regard.
Marcus: This really sticks to your palate more – the taste lasts a bit longer. I don’t know if I’d say banana or not, but it’s definitely drinkable.
Schell’s Hefeweizen is said to have fruity, citrus-like tartness, as well as layers of banana, clove and bready-malt.
Kat: This almost burns at the initial taste. I wanted to blame it on effervescence, but it’s not that, really. I will say that the burning also helps to warm the chest. There is more of a wall of flavor right at the front. It doesn’t build. It just hits you. And the flavor disappears just as instantaneously as it came.
Marcus: I agree with the burn at the beginning, but I think there’s a more mild flavor in the middle. The after-taste fades to literally nothing. I have nothing in my mouth right now. Nothing.
The good news is that if we were forced to do it all over again, we would. They’re all drinkable. We solemnly swear if we ever taste something where we’d warn a friend off of it before grabbing one from the community fridge, we’ll do the same for you. Friends don’t let friends drink bad beer. That being said, this isn’t your elementary school’s track and field day where everyone gets a ribbon.
We plan to give separate rankings, but this week we agree on the order. On the weeks we don’t agree, y’all will get two lists.
1. Surly Cynic
2. Lake Superior North Shore Wheat
3. Schell’s Hefeweizen