While D was beer traveling all over southeastern PA this weekend, I was enjoying special family moments with my nephews, cousins, and lots of other friends and family at the Creek House. This special piece of property along Lycoming Creek populates several times a year with loads of adults, children and dogs (7 to be exact!) who really know how to laugh, play and love. Oh, and they know how to eat!
One thing I’ve learned, though, is to bring my own beer. Not that it is ever a problem finding any there; its just not beer that I care to drink (Bud Lime, Natural Light…you get the picture.) When I leave from my own house, I arrive packed (in fact, there was speculation about what crazy beers I might show up with), but this time I didn’t leave from my house… I started the trip with three empty growlers, one of which broke two minutes after I walked into the pub for a fill (sorry!), another that I filled with awesome root beer (made with raw organic cane sugar and unsulfered molasses) from Selin’s Grove Brewing, and the third which I filled with Steel Drivin’ Stout from Bavarian Barbarian and decided to save to share with D.
So this is how I managed to get my hands on my first Anheuser-Busch product in 15 years (not QUITE true – a few years ago someone at McGrath’s tricked me into drinking a Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale by telling me it was from a “small brewery in Missouri” – I think I had three sips before sending it away.) When I heard about Budweiser American Ale, I kept saying I wouldn’t buy one, but if I was offered one, I would try it. This was my chance.
My first sip was straight from the bottle – the way it really should be with this beer. But the “beer advocate” in me felt the need to have it from a real glass. At first glance, I was impressed. It poured a nice amber color with a medium head. There was even a slight hint of citrus from the cascade hops, but really just barely there.
Like the disappointment that comes from a weak cup of coffee at a mediocre restaurant, the hint of caramel malt and flash of hop bitterness left me thirsting for more. It was a bit malty for my palate, with a dash of bread, but honestly, it featured an all-around light flavor – nothing prominent at all. It had a watered-down mouthfeel. Only the color and the carbonation seemed to be just right.
This ale is an improvement over previous A-B brews – the appealing color, malt sweetness and suggestion of hops sure beat the fizzy yellow, rice sugared lager this company is famous for producing. Still, I admit that I stuck to the root beer for the rest of the weekend.
Coming home to a growler of Homegrown IPA from Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks made up for all the flavor I missed out on over the weekend. Now, THAT is an outstanding brew! But that’s a post for another day.