Tag Archives: Brau Brothers

Brew Review: Cherry Bean Coffee Stout

4 Oct

Brew:  Cherry Bean Coffee Stout

Brewed by: Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC (Lucan, MN)

Style: Coffee Stout (7.5% ABV)

Cherry Bean Coffee Stout is actually not brewed with any cherries, contrary to popular belief.  Cherry Bean Coffee is the name of the place the coffee is from.  For example this could be “Starbucks Coffee Stout” and it would just be a stout with coffee from Starbucks. One of the funny things I stumbled upon when drinking this beer was on the internet there were tons of reviews where people were thinking they were tasting cherry flavors in this beer.  In no way were any cherries added or anything resembling cherries even.  Something like this just adds skepticism to all these enthusiasts and ‘experts’ on the internet.  For the most part they just read a label and spit out some stuff that they think could or should be in a beer like this without taking the time to research or dig deeper into the beer that they are actually drinking.  Sort of sad, kinda funny, but more of a lesson to the rest of us not to be lazy and to really try to capture our own experiences from our own perspectives in the future.  The internet is great but it leads to a bunch of stupid stuff, ideas and people.

Anyway, the stout poured out a dark deep brown, not quite black.  A bit lighter than I thought it would be, there were some reds seeping through the sides which mixed in with the deep browns and blacks. There was a really good looking dark brown head, sort of like chocolate mousse, that rose about a quarter to a half inch above the beer.

Upon the first pour I could really smell the coffee coming out of this beer.  The coffee and roast were overpowering.   Not much sweetness to detect at all with all the roast and coffee really dominating.  Reminds me of stepping into a coffee shop or the isle in the grocery store where you can grind your own beans.  This is going to be a very roasty brew.

The taste was all coffee and coffee bitterness to begin with.  With the coffee and roast there was some faint dark chocolate that popped up that lent a somewhat sweet or lactose taste on the tongue.  For the most part this is coffee, bitterness from the coffee or chocolate flavors, roasted grains and not much else.  This was not a super creamy brew, my guess is the guys down in Lucan are straight black drinkers and don’t like to add much else to their morning cup of Joe.  It isn’t very heavy drinking either, sort of light like a cup of black coffee.  This is a dry stout in that I can pick up a hint of hops on the back of my tongue in the end of the sip.

If I were the Brau’s I would have added some oats or something to round out the body of this brew.  It would have made it a bit more creamy and fuller in the mouth.  With the oats, I would have increased the hops by a bit to keep it a dry stout.  So there are a couple things that I might have done to make this more of a brew I would like, something like Founders Breakfast Stout is where I would want to end up with a huge coffee stout like this.  The Brau’s are close but they might have been driving at something different.

Final Grade: B+

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Brew Review: 100 Yard Dash

14 Dec

Brew: 100 Hundred Yard Dash

Brewed by: Brau Brothers Brewing Co. (Lucan, MN)

Style: Fresh Hop Ale (6.8% ABV)

 

The freshest wet hop ale probably available in MN. This beer is brewed with hops fresh off the Lucan Brewery’s estate vines. They run it the 100 yards from the field into the kettle so it literally takes them minutes from when the hops are picked to when they are imparting their bitter, flavorful and aromatic oils into this brew. I had this last year and was convinced that I needed to get it again this year.

The brew pours out a reddish clear amber color. A bit redder than I was expecting, a little brown in there made it a bit darker than I would have expected from a beer trying to showcase the hops present. There was a small pillow of white head on the beer. Overall it kind of looked like a Surly Furious, don’t know if there will be more comparisons to that later.

The smell was great. There were plenty of hoppy and citrusy aromas coming at me right away. There was also a solid malt backbone that was present that balanced out the fresh hops that were obviously present. Still a great fresh scent came off this beer.

The taste was where this brew fell a little bit for me. There was a bitter bite to it right off the bat but the malts came up and were a bit more dominating than I would have liked. This was a beer that was supposed to be all about the fresh hops but the malts ended up being more of a dominant flavor in the end. The bitter was present but not in a great degree and the finishing hops that they used might have not been used correctly because there wasn’t a ton of floral/fruity taste from the hops in there. The malt backbone was great at balancing the beer but I was expecting and wanting a beer that fell over to the side of the hops in a more pronounced way.

Still I am not complaining, this beer you could tell had some of the freshest hops around. It might have been that this area, MN, isn’t exactly the best hop growing region in the US and therefore they weren’t able to cultivate the more powerful hops needed to really dominate the beer. The fresh hops were obviously present but I wanted more.

 

Final Grade: B-

Brew Review: Forgotten Flem

29 Jul

Brew: Forgotten Flem Farmhouse Ale

Brewed By: Brau Brothers Brewing Co. (Lucan, MN)

Style: Farmhouse/Saison Ale (5.3% ABV)

 

The spring seasonal of the Brau Brother’s down there in Lucan. Within the last 6 months or so I have seen them roll out a couple new and different brews than the original year rounders and I have tried only a couple, with this being one. I am excited to try these as I have thought the year-round brews are really solid beers and I am hoping that they can take their game to the next level with these select new ones.

The Flem poured out a darker amber color, sort of copper-like. A little darker than I expected for the style. It has a great aroma, great Belgian yeasts in there that mix with some earthy, grassy hops to give this a clean farmhouse feel.

On tasting this one the yeasts jumped out more at me. There were some definite peppery notes and some sour Belgian yeasts in there. There is a lot going on, slighty hop nuances, pepper, sour, some fruits, mostly because of the particular yeast strains and probably a little to do with the choice of hops. There is a little sweetness from the malts but its a faint trace that fades into the background. At the end there is the bitter/sour notes that linger.

Overall, this isn’t a beer that will jump out at you with any big or bold flavors or aromas but if you get deeper into it there some great complexity. It has a cool, calm farmhouse aura to it with a little sour mixed in there. A somewhat different sampling of a saison but nonetheless a quality beer.

 

Final Grade: B+

Brew Review: Scotch Ale

15 Jun

Brew: Scotch Ale

Brewed by: Brau Brothers Brewing Co. (Lucan, MN)

Style: Scotch Ale (7.3% ABV)

 

Another one of the Brau Brothers staples, actually the one that turned me on to the brewery back in my poor college days (although lets get real, I’m still poor, though not ‘college poor’).  I picked up a 6-pack a couple years ago and liked this beer enough to keep trying their selections and as you can see by the previous posts on this blog I have tried a lot of their wares.

This brew pours out a dark amber color, though quite clear and had a decent off-white head.  The aroma isn’t overpowering, its subtle and there is a lot going on.  Its got some smoky scotch smells wafting up to my nostrils and there is some sweet maltyness going on in there.  It’s a classic smell for a solid scotch ale.

The taste is great.  Same as the aroma, its not overpowering.  Its got the scotch taste as well as the malt presence that holds the beer together.  There is a little hint of smoke in there which comes from the smoked peat that the malts are roasted on.  It’s a great scotch ale taste.  This one neither knocks you off your feet or makes you ask for more.  It hits all the right notes that a scotch ale should hit.  Apparently its award winning and I can see why.  The sweet malts balance the boozy scotch notes just right, which leads to a solid all around beer.

This beer is a perfect representation of a scotch ale, in my eyes anyway.  A thick filling brew for almost all occasions.  Its got the scotch presence but for those who can’t or won’t appreciate a big scotch taste it subtle enough hat its very enjoyable.  For someone who is looking for a scotch ale to begin with that won’t turn you away from the style completely and isn’t too over the top this is perfect.  I can keep coming back to this brew time and time again if I want an easy drinking scotchy taste.  A very solid brew that I would recommend for almost everyone.

 

Final Grade: B

Brew Review: Brau Brothers Moo Joos

22 Apr

Brew Review: Moo Joos

Brewed by: Brau Brothers Brewing Co. (Lucan, MN)

Style: Oatmeal Milk Stout (5.2% ABV)

Moo Joos Oatmeal Milk Stout, the name alone draws me to this beer.  The newest of the Brau Brothers staple brews, this pitch black beast reminds me that I am for sure drinking a stout.  You can barely see light on the other side of the glass on this, sort of a black hole. Maybe if you drink enough time and space will warp itself around you and the empty 6-pack.

This brew holds a sweet smell, not a bitter one that is typical of a regular stout.  That would be the lactose sugar that they add to the boil and the oatmeal from the mash that calms down that bitter, typical stout aroma and taste.

Moo Joos is very smooth, almost like a warm glass of milk right before bedtime. It would definitely put you to sleep after two or three.  The chocolate and coffee tangs that are normal for a stout from the roasted malts are present but they are perfectly blended into this silky, soft brew.  I think a little more chocolate would have been perfect, something like Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, that would have put this into a dessert beverage must.

A solid take on an emerging style of stout, Brau Brothers consistently makes me wish Lucan was as close as St. Paul to Minneapolis.

Final Grade: B+

Brew Review: Sheephead Ale

10 Apr

Brew: Sheephead Ale

Brewed by: Brau Brothers Brewing Co. (Lucan, MN)

Style: American IPA or “Estate-Hopped Lucan Ale” (7.7% ABV)

Brau Brothers, a small brewery located in Lucan, Minnesota (pop. 220), has consistently put out solid beers and the Sheephead is yet another that you shouldn’t miss out on.  It has a smooth amber color with a rosy-red tint.  This isn’t a brew that looks like a serious IPA, which is usually pretty light in color and looks like it could be anything from a Bud Light to a High Life.  The Sheephead is a darker color which increased my interest the second I poured it out.  The Brau’s let us know that this is a bitter beer, named after a card game that tends to get bitter as most family game nights usually do.

She’s a hoppy brew that is wonderfully balanced with malts, as well.  The brewers really found a perfect combination of the hops and the malts in this recipe.  It’s a bitter brew, but that aspect is not overpowering at all.  For hopheads this can satisfy your cravings, though there are much hoppier brews available. It certainly won’t disappoint a bro who enjoys a maltier refresher when they need it, either.  I think the Sheephead has captured the best of both worlds.

This Brau Brothers concoction is solid brew that can be readily enjoyed by almost everyone who fancies a pint.  It seems like a brew that can be enjoyed in most settings as it incorporates a lot of different things.  Brau Brothers has once again come up with a brew that will keep me wishing Lucan was a little closer.

Final Grade:  B+