Friday, June 24, 2011

Two Brothers - Long Haul

Have I beat the dead horse enough, so that everyone knows I am trying to review local beers during the month of June?  It has been fun, but I am looking to break out some crazy stuff in July.  One would think that July would be a good time to support local/American beers, being the month of our independence and all, but I digress.  Here is another beer from Two Brothers brewing company that I picked up literally less than 5 miles from the brewery.  Other than getting it from the brewery directly (which I did last weekend), this is about as fresh as it gets.  Let's pour!

Picture is my own.  Bottle art image used without permission for educational uses only.
Aroma 9/12
A pale biscuity malt arrives not far behind a citrusy, hop profile.  After warming a bit, the hops add a bit more pine to the mix and a separate earthiness as well.  Simple, clean, and effective.  Well done.

Appearance 3/3
The beer pours a dark golden-orange with an ample frothy head.  The head is a light beige, sticks around remarkably well, and leaves moderate lacing on the glass.  The beer even has tiny pillars of bubbles ascending to the top.  Not only does that look nice, but allegedly it also helps keep aroma stronger, thus increasing the flavor of the beer.

Picture is my own.  And crooked.

Flavor 15/20
A clean start with what surely involves crystal or pale malts.  This changes in the backbone as the beer takes on almost a rye-like bite to it.  It is an odd sour quality that hides some of the hop citrus notes, but not all of them.  Whichever malts are used, they are lightly toasted and also have the lightest bit of caramel behind them.   That is a lot of malt flavors for one beer and certainly a lot for a traditionally light style.  Hops end up adding more bitterness for balance than actual flavor, but are still a welcome addition.  The beer finishes with the hop bitter, but also more of those curious "rye" notes from earlier.  The aftertaste yields no surprises and only more of the bitter.  A bit more of the citrus in the finish would really improve not only the balance as the hops tend to dominate a bit more than they should, but also in cleansing the palate for this "session ale."

Mouthfeel 3/5
Light-medium body with much lower carbonation that expected.  Very smooth and very drinkable.  You could put a few of these down with no problem.

Overall Impression 7/10
A sound offering from Two Brothers, but not anything that is going to knock your socks off.  The use of hop bitter is an unexpected surprise, as most session beer brewers tend to shy away from it.  This also has significantly more flavor than most session ales.  Definitely the winning choice when it would come to more common macrobrew taps.

Total 34/50
If I were having this at a restaurant like TGIFridays or somewhere like that I would definitely be impressed that they are serving it.  However, as a Two Brothers offering as a whole, I am afraid it does not quite meet expectations.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate it as a darker offering than most session beer styles (Helles, pilsners, etc) and it certainly is not short of flavor, it is just that the flavor is not likely to have a regular place in your fridge.  The sour, the light caramel, and hop citrus/bitter are all ingredients for success, but perhaps not in their current ratios.  It does not taste like a session ale, but I suggest you try for yourself to see whether or not that is bad thing.  Its definitely share-worthy in a casual setting, but I won't be singing its praises to those more savvy in their beer undertakings.


  1. Replies
    1. Looks like more for you then. :) Although I did find a session beer today that I'm pretty wild about. See today's review for the answer. Thanks for reading!