A weekly review of Vas Foremost’s craft beer offerings.
Begyle Brewing Co. is relatively new to the Chicago beer scene. Started by a trio of friends, Begyle has been unleashing beer to the masses for just over a year. This week we take a look at two of their offerings, Maybe Next Summer and Flannel Pajamas.
Maybe Next Summer
Maybe Next Summer – Begyle
Style: American Pale Ale
Smack dab in the middle of Fall (wait, do I see snow outside?) comes Maybe Next Summer from a newer local brewery, Begyle. It’s billed as an american pale ale, expectations are high.
On sight, MNS is solid copper colored ale with good, thick head. Dig your nose right in and you can feel what could be upfront bitterness ahead. Hold your nose in a little longer, citrus and biscuit will greet you. Not to be forgotten, a fresh loaf of bread and some tropical fruit notes make a random appearance.
MNS touches your lips with a fruity sweetness heavy in citrus and passion fruit. All throughout the balance is superb coupled with a light mineral tingle. Some English character malt dances around in there (mostly biscuit and toasted notes). A surprisingly strong caramel character that becomes the dominant taste, especially in the finish. The backend is on the drier side (something I personally prefer), with lasting notes of caramel, toffee, citrus, and peanut brittle. MNS isn’t too thin but it is certainly not too thick. It falls right in the sweet spot.
If you crave balance in your pale ales, this one is for you – just the right amount of hop character balanced against just the right amount of malt character. Maybe Next Summer is a solid beer and worth a taste. It makes me wonder if maybe I don’t need the summer. After all, my glass is still half full.
Flannel Pajamas – Begyle
It only seems fitting that the second beer we look at from Begyle is called Flannel Pajamas. Our first offering had us missing the Summer, while our second offering will surely convince me that its time to take out the Winter wear.
Flannel Pajamas pours out black with whipped 3 Musketeers chocolate-like head. As the true beer geeks we are, a couple of sniffs are on order first. (Eat your heart out, wine.) The nose awakens to roasted malts, chocolate, and some sweet coffee aromas. Next in line is an almost caramel popcorn-like aroma. Afraid and alone, the caramel aroma calls upon a toffee and oat aroma to keep it company.
Enough! Beer is meant to be drunk.
FP starts off like most stouts do with a roasted malt taste. Surprisingly it takes a turn and becomes a little sweet, almost fruity in nature. I am reminded of a Charleston Chew candy as I drink this – chocolate and marshmallows. The caramel popcorn is there again to greet you but not for long. Replacing it is a roasted coffee bean taste with our old friend chocolate. FP finishes fairly dry, although it seems to get increasingly dry as we move along. On the palette lingers a raisiny and plum-like fruitiness hand and hand with roasted malts.
After drinking Flannel Pajamas, I feel a lot warmer. It could be the beer or the fact that I’m sitting next to the heater and it just kicked on. If you don’t like to be assaulted with coffee and roasted malts when you drink a stout, then you need to grab Flannel Pajamas on your way to checkout. Variety is the spice of life after all, and sometimes I just need a beer with it.
Other offerings from Begyle available at Vas Foremost include: Bushel & a Peck, Farmer’s Hand Midwest IPA, Hophazardly IPA, and Neighborly Stout.
Steve Pasko is a Certified Cicerone® and the Beer Content Writer for Vas Foremost. Follow him on Twitter or Untappd at Gardemybiere. Email him at Gardemybiere@gmail.com.