A friend asked me why the beer style is called “pale ale” when in fact, it isn’t really all that pale and actually darker than many other styles. My explanation was that pre-19th-century beer came in three styles: dark, darker and darkest. In the late 19th century, the beer universe somewhat shifted to lighter-flavored and lighter-colored beer. It was lighter than their contemporaries and many regions in Europe introduced their own version of this lighter style. England gave us the familiar pale ale and Czechoslovakia introduced pilsners. The regions of Germany also introduced their own answers to lighter beers. There was Dortmunder from northern Germany, Helles in Bavaria and Kolsch from the city of Cologne.
Kolsch is clear while Weiss beer described as a cloudy version of Kolsch. Kolsch is made with traditional hops like Hallertau and is typically low in alcohol by volume, usually between 4% and 5.5%. One other note about Kolsch is that is an ale that is fermented in warm temperatures but cold conditioned.
Bolero Snort Interpretation:
This Kolsch isn’t from Cologne but rather from a New Jersey brewery, Bolero Snort. They note that they bypassed the traditional German hops in favor of Citra and Motueka hops.
It’s a stinking hot day here in New Jersey and I can certainly use a nice crisp summer beer. Pour is light and crystal clear. Aroma is minimal but the chilled flavor hits the spot. Kowabunga Kolsch has your typical German-style sweet crystal malts and some mild skunkiness. Hops are muddled and bitter. Definitely a change of pace beer for me but certainly enjoyable. 88 points.
Footnote to this post: I had written this post in the summer of 2016. I just came across it while reviewing drafts and realized that I forgot to post it. So, no you haven’t entered a time warp.
Ballantine’s three rings are an easily-recognizable symbol of the brewery and the rings represent purity, body, and flavor.
Ballantine Cuff Links
I once worked with a man who had been an employee at the Ballantine brewery in Newark during the 50’s. He worked in the lab, which essentially meant that he drank beer for a living. What a job!
Around that same time period, Ballantine’s owners Carl and Otto Badenhausen created a special beer as a holiday gift for distributors and retailers. I recall finding an article about a single bottle of this holiday brew surfacing and auctioning off for about $6,000. Apparently, there were only six known specimens at the time. I showed this article to my co-worker and he was in shock. He told me that he remembered pulling buckets of this beer off the bottling line “for testing” and that he had filled his own refrigerator with this particular beer.
One day, my co-worker surprised me with a gift. A single cuff link and some other Ballantine collectibles. Can’t seem to find any “links” to any values for Ballantine Cuff Links.
A little about the history of P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company. The brewery was founded in 1840 and at one time was the nation’s third largest brewer. The brewery was based in Newark, NJ until 1972 when Ballantine was sold to Falstaff Brewing. In 1985, Falstaff sold to Pabst Brewing. Pabst revived Ballantine Ale as part of their “craft beer” assets in 2014. Two months after the relaunch, Pabst sold the Ballantine name to Blue Ribbon Holdings Company for $700M. It seems that Blue Ribbon Holdings has lineage to Pabst and the move may just be moving money from one pocket to another.
Oh, for those that don’t know what a cuff link is, a cuff link is used as a fancy alternative to a button. A cuff link closes and secures a shirt’s cuff. It’s considered a men’s “jewelry” accessory.
Tasting: August 4, 2017 Style: Bourbon-Barrel Aged Stout with Raspberries and Honey added. Beer #: 1,085 ABV: 10%
Lindley Park Stout
Lindley Park is a neighborhood in Greensboro, North Carolina. The area is named after Quaker and local businessman John Van Lindley. In 1902, he donated 60 acres of land to be used as a recreation complex. The area had a man-made lake and amusement park. The lake and amusement park closed in 1917 and the town fathers set out to create a neighborhood with a park as its main element. Coincidentally, the community celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Another serendipitous discovery is that the name Lindley comes from the English text, Lind – meaning tree and Ley – meaning clearing. So, it seems Van Lindley lived up to his name by clearing some trees for the construction of the lake.
Maybe it’s just the age on this bottle (probably 2 years old) but the raspberry is non-existent. Well-polished stout with robust roasted coffee, baker’s chocolate but soft edges and a plush mouthfeel. A nice stout, wonder what it would have been like with some raspberry. I’ll give Lindley Park Stout 92 points.
You say double dry-hopping and I say, “yes please.”
Dry hopping is the practice of adding dry hops (or dried hop pellets) to cooled wort (or cooked beer). Most brewers allow these hop additions to sit in the wort for as many as five days. This process lends a fresh hop flavor and usually wonderful aromatics. Double dry-hopping is…you guessed it…doing it twice.
This IPA features a secondary dry hopping with Simcoe hops. Probably a double shot of Simcoe since the website doesn’t mention if they used a second type of hop in the process.
As you can see Double Dry Hopped Summer Street pours a wonderful hazy orange color. Flavor pops with tangerine, tart pear and grass. Soft edges, crisp finish, and a nice overall mouthfeel. Really nice offering from Trillium, 95 points.
Trillium does name some of their beer after streets in Boston and many streets in Boston have been named for famous Bostonians. In this case, Summer Street is not named for Donna Summer. Sorry for that tease. I’ll offer up that Summer and Winter Street connect at Washington Street in Boston. So, Winter turns into Summer and vice-versa.