Former top-shelf golden amber steam-styled lager placed pleasant hop-charred citric bitterness, smooth Scotch-kettled sweetness and captive mineral-grained cereal roast atop toasted almond alleviation. This was not your grandfather’s lame piss, but instead a full-bodied, assertive microbrew closer to classical British lager. ’06 re-tasting: displaced phenol bittering imparts offensive flavor supplanting almond-cereal conflux. Disturbingly, ensuing ’07 on-tap sampler at Patchoque’s Brick House Brewery confirmed loss of quality.
Brewed since 1874, northern Minnesota brew is classified as “smooth, creamy, full-bodied lager with sweet nutty flavor.” But its funky compost aroma, peach-y pertinence, and honeyed almond presence make strange bedfellows. A weird soured fruit-rotted finish consumes otherwise easy to drink, if unusual, lager.