Flavored Beer…Part One


 Hi everyone – another Friday has rolled around, and I am back to continue our weekly discussion on the art of drinking.  This might sound funny to some, but I take this statement seriously.  To do anything well, you need to have a passion for it.  At Vas Foremost, we have a passion for fine beverages, and a passion for sharing the knowledge of beverages.  The approach that we take to sharing with you, and the subsequent approach you take to consumption, are what lend a level of art to what we have going on here.

I digress…Last week, I filled you in on some beers that can make your Super Bowl viewing experience unique.  Tonight’s installment is devoted to beer, again, but with a twist.  We’re going to dive into the world of flavored beer!

Flavored beer is an interesting animal, and, to the uninitiated, will be unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.  There is a pretty wide variety of beers that fit in this category, including fruit flavored, smoke flavored, and food and spice-flavored. Rather than fling a ton of stuff out in one post, I will be featuring these in multipe posts over the next several months.

1. Wells Banana Bread (.500L, $5.49) The name is a little off-putting.  I was initially worried that there would be an aftertaste almost like banana flavored laffy taffy, and that the beer would have a very thick texture.  When you open the bottle, you’ll notice that the beer actually does smell like banana bread – this was a nice introduction to the drink.  The first sip reassured me that I wasn’t drinking liquid candy.  Wells states that the beer is brewed with actual bananas and some added banana flavoring, but they haven’t overdone it.  You definitely taste the banana, but it comes out as part of the ale instead of killing it or providing a horrible aftertaste.  

2. Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (.500L, $4.49, 4 pack cans, $10.99) We just covered a Wells beer, and since Wells and Young combined in 2006, it makes sense to roll on over to Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.    This is an other beer flavor that seemed iffy to me on my first try. I was really curious about how chocolately this was going to be.  “I really like chocolate milk”, I reasoned to myself, “let’s give this a shot…”.  First things first, I think what makes this combination work is that it’s a stout, a dark, heavier brew to begin with.   Young’s uses chocolate mash, and actual chocolate in the brewing process, and the result actually came out to me as a mocha – a slightly bitter chocolate/coffee flavor that went really well with the thickness typically associated with a stout.  This was not a sweet drink at all – my earlier rationalization about chocolate milk was way off base. This a great example of a non-fruit flavored beer that really stands up well. 

3. Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry Ale (18.7oz, $6.99) This is one of several flavored beers produced by Samuel Smith.  This is an ale, brewed with strawberry juice, and it is definitely sweet and packs a lot of strawberry punch.  If you don’t like the typical “beer” taste, then this is probably something you’d like, but for most folks, it’s simply too sweet to sit back and drink casually.  I would consider this more appropriate as an after-dinner type drink, in small doses, or even something that can be poured on ice-cream to make an interesting type of sundae.

That’s where I’ll end things for tonight.  I hope that everyone has a great weekend coming up! As always, if you have any questions about anything I’ve written, or even general questions about anything else, please feel free to email me at george@vasforemost.com, tweet us: @vasforemost, or give us a call at (773) 278-9420.

Thanks again! See you all next week!


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