Another Trip Down the Mississippi to Great River Brewery

About a month ago I wrote about two beers from Great River Brewery–Roller Dam Red Ale and 483 Pale Ale.  A trip to Benz Beverage Depot on Small Business Saturday yielded another pair of beers from the same brewers.  This time around it is Farmer Brown Ale and Redband Stout.

First up, Farmer Brown Ale:

Described as being “mildly hopped” (~22 IBU) the beer has a surprising amount of alcohol (7% ABV) relative to its stated bitterness, but the hope was that it would be balanced by the body which is heavy on malt character.

However, the combination makes the beer come across much more bitter than its stated bitterness would lead you to believe.  Part of this is due to the use of dark crystal and chocolate malt which, depending upon the darkness of the roast, can have a very bittering effect on the beer.  I believe that is what is happening here.

What about Redband Stout:

A dark beer with coffee added?  Who would have thought?  Oh wait, this is getting to be a trend and a good one.  This beer is a product of adding cold pressed Redband Coffee to the Great River Brewery’s Straight Pipe Stout.

A stout is a great choice to add coffee too because the beer’s bold flavors, particularly from dark malts, can handle the additional potent flavors from coffee.  If you tried this with a light lager it would come across like that coffee infused Coke from a few years ago.  That is to say, bad.

The real fault I find in Redband Stout is that the beer’s flavor really lingers in your mouth and on the back of your throat.  It’s almost like the heavy handed hop forward beers from the Pacific Northwest that seem to just stay in your mouth and nose for a long time after each drink.

It’s no Coffee Bender, but that is not such a bad thing considering the Surly product is my current favorite.


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