Brew Review: Keswick’s G.G. Brewers

In Uncategorized on October 26, 2008 at 1:06 am

Nestled on the bottom of the hill just past the train station lies G.G. Brewers. To many it may be surprising that there is a brew-pub at just a twenty minute walk (or stumble) from Arcadia. Although I’ve been going there since I turned 21 like it’s some sort of ritual, I thought this would be a good place to begin for this first edition of the Brew Review. As a general rule, I like to come on Wednesday’s for the three dollar entree menu, but I’ll leave that up to you. But no matter what day you come, the beer list should be the same. Beers are rated as a full glass being excellent, three quarters as good, half as so-so, quarter-full as below par, and an empty glass meaning ‘Natty Light.’

Keswick Light
The Keswick light is by all measurements a pretty standard light beer. I had hoped for more of a differentiation from most American-style light beers (Miller Lite, Bud Light), but it comes across as a beer with the flavor knocked out from under it.  So pretty much a  standard American-style light beer. That said, it goes down easy and its flavor isn’t offensive, but the idea here is to enjoy the beer you’re drinking, and for that I’d order something else, personally. On the other side, I know some of us are trying to watch our girlish figures here, and if light beer’s your thing, this is the one I’d go with out of the two on the menu. Let me put it this way, I would have a Keswick Light over a Bud or Miller any day.

Red Light Ale
This light ale comes off a bit too strong in its raspberry flavor (hence the ‘red’ of the title) and leaves a bit too much to be desired in its finish. It starts off with a fruity nose that is not altogether bad, but the beer lacks a true hoppy flavor that its ale nomenclature suggests. For a light beer it does hold its own in the flavor department, but I would not choose the words “full bodied” as the best description for this one. I would recommend this to the novice beer drinker looking to make the change from fruity mixed drinks to the wonderful world of beer; but for the experienced drinker, I’d hold off for some of the better selections on this menu.

Laughing Wolf
This lager has a mellow, hoppy taste with a very clean finish. While some might question Laughing Wolf’s lack of a strong flavor, I think its smooth taste works well for this particular lager. Laughing wolf puts value back into the word “drinkability” that has lately been sullied by the major domestics like Budweiser and Coors that claim the word as their own. Keep an eye out for the pleasant taste of the hops that pervades in this brew, but beware of how easy this one goes down. I recommend starting out your night with this one to loosen up before you move up to some of the more complex flavors in the likes of Brown Eyed Girl or the Harvest Ale. Take it from me: I wouldn’t drink any more than one or two unless you plan on calling a cab for the ride home.

Brown Eyed Girl
Brown Eyed Girl starts off with a creamy head and a dark body that lets you know right off that you’re in for a walk on the darker side of the beer spectrum. The body has a malty flavor at first that finishes with a bitter bite to it. This is the most bitter beer on the menu, so for those of you into that I would recommend it. I really liked the malty flavor, and hope to see more like this in the future.

Harvest Ale
I’ve always wondered how a beer like this would taste on tap, and I can now say that it is excellent. This beer tastes like pumpkin pie and Christmas all mixed up into one tasty and alcoholic beverage. This is one of those great specialty beers, spiced ales that are typically put out by breweries like Saranac (which I’ve heard is excellent, by the way).  Take a good whiff of this beer before taking the first sip and let its cinnamon aroma sink in. From there on, the mixture of all spice, cinnamon, and clove only gets better; this is like the dessert of beers. Too many of these will leave you feeling a little full and your taste buds over-saturated, so I would only have a couple of glasses of this in a sitting; but they might just end up being the your favorite drinks you have all night.

Amberly Eyes
One thing I noticed right after I received my Amberly Eyes was the lack of a foamy head. The suds were almost non-existent, and for me the head is like the welcome mat of the beer. So, without the proper entrance, the rest of the flavor did not really click with me. In short, Amberly Eyes came off as too sweet. The sweetness dominated the other flavor in the beer, not allowing the drinker to appreciate what else was going on. There was a bitter taste that worked really well, but again, was hard to pinpoint. I’m not sure if I got a bad pour (I came in on a pretty packed Saturday as opposed to the laid-back Wednesday atmosphere and, there being only one set of taps, things might have been rushed), but this was not a beer I would readily go back to.


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