Saison, American Ale and an IPA for a fishin' weekend...

I was goin' fishin' with my son and my father this weekend. While contemplating what beer to take along for the weekend at my Dad's I thought of the homebrew on tap, Brother John's Ale and some Sly Fox in the fridge. Then my neighbor Bryan gave me a ring at work. He was standing outside my house with a Saison he bottled a few weeks ago. I directed him to stash it in the bushes and I would grab it when I got home. I also added some Brother John's and even picked up some Marzoni's Avalanche IPA along the way. We were well stocked with fishing tackle and some beer for my Dad and I to taste.

So after a few hours on the road and a warm welcome my Dad asked me to break out my homebrew. Nothin' like sharing a homebrew with Dad. He liked it, but, it wasn't quite bitter enough for him. I'll have to make a note of that.

Onto the next beer of the night, Bryan's Saison. (pictured above) I was very anxious to taste this one. After a few months in the fermenter and some concerns about fermentation temp we finally bottled it. At that point it tasted good. Nothing offensive. A bit ordinary for a saison. No funky bready citrussy flavors. Kinda sweet and malty. Well let me tell you, what a difference three weeks in the bottle makes. The sweetness was there, but, it wasn't the predominant flavor. Grapefruit rind spiciness seemed to come out of nowhere. I can't wait to see what happens to this over the next few months. Great job Bryan! Great inspiration for my next batch.

The last beer of the weekend was Avalanche IPA from Marzoni's. Overall I've been happy with their beer when I get to sample it. The core brews are usually the best. The rotating "seasonals" have been just OK. The first taste of the Avalanche blows you away with hoppy freshness in the nose and in the early moments of the tasting. The finish leaves you wanting a bit more malt backbone, but, all in all a good bitter and freshly hopped experience. All that I pretty much expected.

What I didn't expect happened the next night. We sat back each with a pint of this Avalanche IPA from the two thirds full growler and noticed something different about the beer. Its taste had actually improved. The beer just smoothed out. It wasn't so forcefully bitter and hoppy up front and it let you down gently at the end with a more rounded out body. What happened? My guess is the air in the growler. The oxygen changed the taste slightly, for the better. I guess it could be attributed to less CO2 fizz as well. Hmmm...interesting. Anybody else have this happen?

So did we catch any fish? Sure did. Mostly pan fish, but, we kept a bunch so my son could experience eating what he caught. All in all a good weekend. Three good brews, family and a fish fry to boot!

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