Owen Ogletree, The Beer Wench, Gail Graves and Dean Graves got together recently at Chops & Hops in Watkinsville, Georgia to pair up ten craft beers and come up with our verdict for the beer that seemed more true-to-style and appealing. All these beers were quite good, so the task was not an easy one...
Sixpoint Sweet Action - fruity, wheat-like note, earthy, light tropical fruits, pleasant bitter note, mild hops, light flavor notes, dark gold in color, citrusy.
Red Hare Long Day Lager - cereal hint in aroma, floral hoppy nose, easy-drinking, hint of fruit, biscuit nuances, light hops.
Verdict: Sixpoint is more complex, Red Rare is smoother and more lager-like, two great beers for summer.
21st Amendment Bitter American - light toasted malt, impressive citrusy hops, clean on the tongue, pleasant hops on the backend, mild fruits
Stone Levitation Ale - earthy, pungent, mineraly, big bitterness, caramel, mouthful of hop bitterness. Darker in color than Bitter American.
Verdict: We liked the clean malts and citrusy hops of bitter American. Two flavorful session beers.
Avery White Rascal - bigger nose of the two, orange, coriander spice, wheat, fruit. Very pleasant. Sweet, soft mouthfeel, orange hint, spicy background. Almost perfect in terms of style.
Ommegang Witte - light nose, more spicy than the Avery. Lighter body and taste with more dry, intense coriander finish. Cleaner and more refreshing than the Avery.
Verdict: Avery has more body and complexity. Ommegang is drier and has a spicier profile.
New Holland Mad Hatter IPA - clean, dry aromas, earthy, lighter malt and hops, high mineral water, fruity, apricot hints.
Westbrook IPA - pineapple, perfumery, very fruity, papaya, a touch sweeter than the New Holland with notes of ripe fruit.
Verdict: almost identical in appearance, New Holland is cleaner and crisper, Westbrook has loads of fruity esters and malt sweetness. Hop bitterness and aromas seem to be on similar levels.
Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout - oily aromas of coffee and resin. A bit creamy, somewhat dry, medium/light body, roasted malts, hints of creamy oats backed by subtle hops.
Back Forty Kudzu Porter - mild aromas of cocoa and fruit, pleasant, fruity dark malts, with a touch of balancing bitterness.
Verdict: The stout is black, porter is dark brown. Both are quaffable and pleasant. We liked the Anderson Valley for mouthfeel, complexity, and smooth malt character.