108 Degrees In The Shade: Summer in Texas, Texas Summer Beers

August 7, 2012

Hans' Pils

Real Ale Hans’ Pils –  I do not know who Hans is, so I do not know why this beer is named for him, but he must be a good egg, as this is a fine beer, and I doubt Real Ale would name such a good beer after him if Hans were not a fine fellow. It is clean, crisp and dry, with some cracker like malts and mild lemon and black pepper hops for some balance, and a long lasting white head. I am generally not a fan of German style beers, but I do like this one, 7/10.

Rahr & Sons Summertime Wheat – I have not been impressed by Fort Worth’s Rahr & Sons in the past. Their beers have been spotty at best, and to my palate the problem seems to be quality control issues. They are inconsistent. As mentioned above, I am generally not a fan of German style beers, as I am an Anglophile to my core, and Rahr & Sons specializes in German style beers, which might be a contributing factor to my being less than impressed with their beers.

Rahr Summertime Wheat

On the other hand, I do love hefeweizens in the hot summer months, and Rahr has brewed themselves an excellent one with their Summertime Wheat. This has that nice wheat, yeast, banana, and clove flavors that is the hallmark of all hefeweizens, with just a touch of candy sweetness and orange peel bitterness. It pours golden blonde and cloudy with a fluffy head, and is subtly carbonated for a terrific mouthfeel. The carbonation also provides some terrific lacing which races up the side of the glass. If Rahr could maintain this standard of excellence across their beer roster, I would be a huge fan. Unfortunately, in my experience, this is a high point for them, 7.5/10.

Water Tower in Allen, Texas. This has nothing to do with beer. I just like the picture.


Hey Porter! Hey Porter! Would you tell me the time?

November 23, 2011

How much longer will it be till we cross
that Mason Dixon Line?
At daylight would ya tell that engineer
to slow it down?
Or better still, just stop the train,
Cause I wanna look around.

Read the rest of this entry »


Real Ale Sisyphus 2010

August 16, 2011

After enjoying the 2008 vintage, and being knocked out by the 2009 vintage, I was eager to try the 2010 Sisyphus Barleywine from the always stellar Real Ale Brewing Company.  Like the previous versions, this is a boozy barleywine.  It has a mild hop aroma that is amped up a bit in the taste, lots of caramel malts, and some orange peel and raisins and other dried fruit as well.  It is just a bit too fresh and hot tasting right now, and could stand another couple of months aging in the bottle.  Luckily, I have a bottle tucked away for just that purpose.  I am giving it 7/10 right now, and will revisit this again in a few months.


Real Ale Sisyphus 2008 & 2009

April 26, 2011

Texas’ Real Ale is becoming one of my favorite brewers.  With the sole exception of their Octoberfest, I have loved every one of their beers, and as I tend not to enjoy the Octoberfest style, Real Ale gets a pass for that one.

I recently stumbled upon these limited release barleywine style ales while I was wandering around my local beer emporium, and I am happy to report that Real Ale’s record of excellence continues.

The 2008 Vintage was smooth, with prominent dried fruit flavors and just a trace of hoppiness to it.  It had a mild green apple aftertaste that counterbalanced the alcohol burn.  The 2008 retained enough carbonation to make it a velvety smooth and highly enjoyable drink, 7.5/10.

As much as I enjoyed the 2008 Vintage, and I truly did, the 2009 Vintage moved on a higher plane.  This beer was damn near spiritual.  Smooth toffee and bread malts are up front, coupled with a butterscotch and hot caramel aftertaste.  This is the smoothest 11% ABV I have ever had, 9.5/10, and if I can track down any more bottles, I am going to lay them down to age.

I have a bottle of the 2010 edition that I will drink soon and report back to all of you.


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