Thursday, November 29, 2007

Brothers' Cup review

I managed to get to Kearney and pick up a growler of the Cup when I was picking up a Christmas tree and other items. My two kids went in, one is 5 months old and the other 3 years old, and asked for a growler. While we were there Trevor, the owner/brewer at Thunderhead, was enjoying a pint of beer at the bar and so I introduced myself and we chatted a bit. It turns out he was drinking from the Cup as well, always a good sign that the brewery will drink the beer especially when he has plenty of his own creations that he could drink. I was intrigued with his description or struggle to place an identity to the Cup and could not wait to get home. My 3 year old son was also intrigued with the big shiny fermentors, Trevor and I informed him that it was used to make beer and that put a big smile on his face. I am off on the right foot with this kid, I know he will be helping me this weekend on my return to brewing after a very long hiatus.

Anyway back to the beer. I poured out 2 glasses last night, one for myself and one for the wife. She isn't much of a drinker but I have a hard time finishing growlers before they go flat so I thought it would help. So here is the report.

Appearance: White almost rocky head was formed on the initial pour but did quickly dissipate, this could have been a glass issue though. This beer is crystal clear and bright golden color.

Aroma: I detected a slight spicy/peppery aroma but a large phenolic fruity estery, what I like to call, Belgiany aroma. I am still learning on separating these aromas but I will tell you that it is complex and wonderful. As the beer warmed up a slight herbal/earthy hop aroma became a little more evident and helped balance out the esters.

Taste: UNEXPECTED! No other way to put it. You have all these Belgian type notes in the aroma and the bitterness and dryness that you get surprises you, in a good way. I detected some peppery spicy notes with a slight malt and ester finish. It dried my mouth out similar to how a red wine can. I will say that this taste changed dramatically with food and became less drying and more fruity and estery. I like that change and adds to the complexity

Mouthfeel: Drying almost tannic in nature. Drunk with food, especially fatty foods (I had a cheeseburger) it gets more body and becomes less dry.

Overall: Unexpected interesting blend of flavors and aromas. It begs you to take another sip so you can try and figure out the balance that is occurring in your mouth. As it warmed up a bit it became less bitter with more body, and has been mentioned, it also tastes different when paired with food.

I highly recommend you give this beer a shot. I don't think it will be for everyone but I know that I will have it whenever I get the chance. It offers you something different to experience, a complex balance of aromas, flavors and bittering. It is around 5% ABV and around 35-40 IBUs.

Seek out the Cup and try it with food and see how it changes. I would love to try it with some spicy food and might tonight with some Mexican. If you have tried the Cup, tell us what you think.


CJ said...

Thanks for the review Nate!!

Peace out

Anonymous said...

Hey, glad you liked it. We certainly have not attempted to brew a beer for everyone, so that comment is right on. We'll let the industrial beer marketers pander to the LCD ;) The goal of the Monks is to brew unique hand crafted beer in Nebraska, something that (with little exception) just isn't being done commercially.

I think Brothers' Cup(mis-punctuated in your title!--its a shared cup, you see, amongst many brothers, a sort of communal thing) would be good with spicy foods, Mexican maybe, but Thai and Indian more so...also things like pesto and funky cheeses. But for me, its mostly a session beer, drank for relaxation and social lubrication.

I personally preferred it when it had more yeast in suspension. It seemed more complex to me. I'm still proud of it, and as its cleared, its become more of what I had envisioned it to be when we brewed it. When it had yeast, it surprised me and I loved it.

Chris, can you teach the yeast to stay hanging around?!

We've got updates on where you might find it in Lincoln. We still need to keg batch 2, but if we can get that done, its possible that next week it might be on tap at at least some of these places:

Bread & Cup
Yia Yia's
State Theatre
Box Awesome


Nate B. said...

I fixed the punctuation for you Matt. ;-) Sorry about that.

I want to update the beer review a little bit. I had it last night as just a session drinker and it seemed dryer and more crisp than it did the night before. I even enjoyed it more last night. Great work guys can't wait for the next offering.

nickspies said...

Similar to the experience I had. I mentioned that I had put my rating on in the previous post. However, my comments were not as extensive as your's. Thanks for making me look bad.

Nate B. said...

I try Nick, I will go look at your review now, I didn't want it to skew what I tasted so I haven't read it yet.

CJ said...

Ha ha ha....anonymous, or should I call you Brother Matthew...I also did like the beer when it was yeasty. I suppose that reason alone could push a special bottle released version.

Interestingly, I think that the "yeast hazy" version exibits more of the hop bite of a much more bitter beer. The clear version to me is more subdued. I am guessing that the yeast contribute to the perceived bitterness some. Have you ever tasted vegamite. That stuff is not too good IMHO.

Nate, thanks again for the review. I would encourage any Lincoln readers of this blog to search out the cup and practice the ways of the Modern Monks.

Peace out

Brendan said...

Is BoxAwesome getting Draft beer?

Anonymous said...

Brendan...sometime soon, I'm told.

They also said they have a kegerator for one keg...maybe I can suggest something for them to fill that up?