Did you miss us? We all spent more than a week expanding our waistlines and getting our Fitbits to tilt over in Germany and Austria. We found out it’s possible to get beer’d out, but that break proved short-lived (thank Zeus…) We also left during just about the longest summer on record, and returned with the leaves just beginning to fall. The cold nights which nipped at us in Europe finally made their presence here, too, which means soon we’ll start switching styles to the sorts of big beers that beg for fires, sweaters, and stretchy pants. Speaking of stretchy pants, Beer Hound has at least one beer that fits the description. We found a new bomber up our way, a heavier Cream Ale that begged for some attention after an afternoon of yard work. And in the time it took me to sip my way through it, another batch of leaves had fallen. Go figure.
Teddy, Beer Hound Brewery (Culpeper, VA)
American Cream Ale, 5.5% ABV, 17.5 IBU
Presentation: Bomber pour into Pilsner Stange.
Appearance: Fresh hay, actually tending towards corn on the cob for the base color. Surprisingly haziness. I went with the Pilsner glass to get some rollicking head and open up the nose, and yeah, that worked. Filthy thick head that left some trace lattice from the first pour, but little thereafter.
Taste: This beer deserves this kind of glass. The nose is equal parts wheat and a liquor form that bears a few words to describe. Have you had Fireball before? Good, whichever your answer. The point of that whiskey is it’s flavored with cinnamon, and this smells like every part of Fireball minus the cinnamon. So it really doesn’t, but that made you think for a second. The point of the comparison, though, and the link to all this is the corn of which, in a word, says moonshine. The body is much more cold creamed corn with some shredded parsley thrown in for good measure. The finish gets us back to moonshine but without the blindness and the burning, oh the burning. This is one of the stronger bodied Cream Ales I’ve had in a while, and the effect on the palate is one like a walk among culled fields just after the harvest. It’s a pervasive pulled grain effect. Shuck some corn, lick your hand, and you’re getting close.
Mouth Feel: Primarily across the roof of the mouth and back of the tongue. It’s less of a sodium-tinged effect and more doughy. Unflavored oatmeal comes to mind, at least in the way it drapes itself all over the back half of the mouth.
Overall: I’m not a corn person, but I love milled varieties such as grits and hush puppies. That’s the effect you’re really getting here – it’s not sweet, or really at all buttery, but the aromas and it’s overall ouevre filter straight down into the tastebuds just like a bitter IPA would. It’s one where you’ll be comfortable with healthy swigs or sharing the bottle in small glasses. The effect is best gained, however, with a decided pause to let everything slowly segue back down the throat. Teddy is a beer that’s perfect for a crisp fall afternoon, some pigskin, and the crunch of leaves underfoot.