Monday, April 30, 2012

Welcoming in May

I love beer release parties. Not only do you get to taste something that isn't about to go away (not right away, at least), but you also get to learn more about the beer, see the facilities in which the beer is made, and speak to the folks that have a hand in making the brew.

It's a festive celebration.

Jillian pours a pint of 1855 at Kichesippi Beer Co.

So, I found myself at a beer release party, sampling new beer and trying some of the brewery's regular fare. Some local food was also on hand; namely, pastries from Life of Pie, Pascale's Ice Cream (I never thought I'd ever try cheddar and bacon ice cream in my life—until this weekend), and fabulous sandwiches and stew from The Piggy Market. By the time I left the event, I was stuffed.

Wasn't that a party?

Honestly, I haven't been to many beer release parties, but so far my favourite has been the release party that I attended yesterday at Ottawa's Kichesippi Brewery. And the beer that was released is their seasonal beer, Maibock.

Maibock, also known as helles bock, is a traditional German-styled strong lager. And this offering from Kichesippi follows close suit. Here are the details:

Ottawa, ON
$11.75, 64 fl oz growler (plus $4 deposit); 6.3% alc/vol

Maibock has a lovely light copper colour with a lingering, white foamy head. And this strong lager is incredibly clear. It's a gorgeous beer to look at.

On the nose, I caught very faint hops: not what I expect in a maibock. With a maibock/helles bock, I expect more hoppiness (hoppiness is a robust maibock). The aroma was clean and light—not that I'm complaining or anything.

In the mouth, the hops came to life. They were plentiful without being overpowering. I also detected some citrus—perhaps some orange. The finish was clean with no lingering aftertaste.

I picked up a growler from the celebration and tried more of the beer when I got home. I found that as I let my glass open up, the hops became more pronounced on the palate, but not on the nose.

Kichesippi Maibock is an extremely drinkable lager. It is well-balanced with its hops, its citrus tones, and its alcohol level. Though it's a strong beer, you wouldn't know it to taste it. And that's a very good thing.

This maibock will be available, in growlers, directly from the brewery. And if you contact the brewery, I'm sure they'll be able to tell you which pubs and restaurants will be offering it.

But it will only be available for the month of May, so don't wait too long to try it.

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