Thursday, March 24, 2011

Two Brothers Brewing Co. - Ebel's Weiss Beer

A very good friend of mine happens to live in Warrenville, IL.  He also happens to live but 5 minutes from the Two Brothers Brewing Co, and his recommendation should come as no surprise.  There are several reasons that I am very happy to review this beer.

1.  It was recommended by a friend.
2.  It comes from an area not known for its craft/microbrews.
3.  I have not heard of this brewery before.

This is not coming from Portland, OR or some funny town in Wisconsin; this is coming from the Chicago suburbs.  Perfect!  The more unusual and unexpected the better.  Surprise me!  Give me an experience!  Again, big thanks to Luke for the recommendation.  Let's pour!

Picture is my own.  Bottle art image used without permission for educational uses only.

Aroma 11/12
From a 3oz sample the first scent is unmistakably vanilla.  Underneath it is a  rich, bready malt which is perfect for the style.  The bits of clove also make themselves known.  No fruitiness to speak of and that is nice.  I could see how one could confuse the vanilla and clove combination for the traditional "banana" smell, but this beer manages to avoid it well.  Perhaps, it is the scent of a more authentic vanilla and not one based in high fructose corn syrup?  This aroma is perfectly done to style, but a bit darker and I like the subtle change.

Appearance 3/3
As seen in the picture above, this beer poured with a very generous , cream-colored head.  If you have read any of the recent reviews, you know I have been struggling to find beers that not only pour a larger head, but also retain it.  This beer did both and it made me smile.  Finally!  The pour was a dark, cloudy yellow with lots of visible sediment and yeasty treats.  The cloudy is to style, the abundance of yeast is not always present.  I hope it does not effect the flavor negatively.  On appearance alone, this beer again nails the style and adds something extra. EBC is an almost exact 20.

Picture is my own.
Flavor 17/20
This is a superbly balanced beer.  It does not attack you with sweetness or fall back upon it to cover up any potential lackings.  The initial dark sweetness leads almost immediately with the bready malt we found in the aroma.  Just when you start to recognize the malt, in comes the hop to balance out everything perfectly.  These flavors do not bum-rush you, but rather lead almost seamlessly one to another, each complimenting the last.  It is quite a departure from beers that smack you with, "this is the malt, this is hops, this is the finish, now wait for the after.  Got it?  Good."  These all flow together and do so in harmony.

Mouthfeel 5/5
Again, almost perfect to style.  Some might see it as a bit light-bodied, but I found it to increase its drinkability without sacrificing accuracy.  I would still call it a medium-bodied beer with low-medium carbonation and bits of warmth and creaminess.

Overall Impression 9/10
Its stylistic accuracy is spot on, yet it still manages to add something new in several areas.  It looks, tastes, smells, and feels exactly the way a weiss beer should, but manages to separate itself from the herd.  This beer also manages to avoid the common pitfalls of being too sweet, too fruity, or too dependent on the ever-present orange slice (bah!).

Total 45/50
Beer in the suburbs lives!  I could not get over the complimentary nature of this beer's flavors nor its adherence to style.  I am also still very pleasantly surprised that this beer came out of the Chicago suburbs, an area now widely known for its breweries.  This beer's balance, dark flavor tones, and avoidance of fake/synthetic tasting flavors are its true calling cards.  Big kudos to Two Brothers Brewing Co!  I know that I will be making the several hour trip to visit your facilities in the not-too-distant future.  If this is any indication of the quality of beers they make there in Warrenville, then this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to look for this one. I am becomming a huge Weiss/Hefe/Wheat beer fan!