September 21, 2012


When the weather starts to cool down, I start to crave doppelbock. For years I've relied on Ayinger Celebrator, but this year I decided to try something new - Great Divide's Wolfgang, their newest seasonal offering.

It pours deep brown with clear, ruby red edges. Thick head with big bubbles that don't die off too quickly. Big malty sweetness on the nose and a good bit of toasted billion-grain bread and mixed nuts as well. Taste is also sweet, with lots of caramel and baked brown sugar plus flavors of cherry and plum. Body is velvety smooth, thick and sticky enough to keep your tongue coated from the moment you finish a sip to the moment you take the next one. Finish is kind of earthy and sweet, a marriage of light tobacco and toffee. It's a little sweeter than Celebrator, and also lighter, with less of that "liquid bread" feel, but it's still damn good. Try it!

Great Divide Wolfgang

September 18, 2012

32/50 Kölsch

Do you know what Kölsch is? For starters, it's deceivingly light in color and body but packs way more flavor than you might expect. It's also a bit of a hybrid, made using top fermenting yeast at warmer temperatures like an ale, but still undergoing cold conditioning, or lagering, like a pilsner. Kölsch originates from Köln (Cologne to us gringos) in the Rhineland region of Germany. Foremost in my own mind, it is an under appreciated style, but it's one of the tastiest, most refreshing beers out there. COAST 32/50 Kölsch is a perfect specimen, and in my opinion one-ups traditional ones like Gaffel and Reissdorf in both aromatics and flavor.

Pours deep, pale yellow. Floral hops on the nose along with some hay and grass, bread and a touch of sweetness from the malt. Light bodied with lively but somewhat soft carbonation, almost creamy, so it's very smooth and easy to drink. Taste follows the aroma, with more wheat and dense white bread notes, a bit of lemon, and some honey and white wine towards the end. Just the right amount of hop bitterness balances out the citrus and sweetness.

My favorite part about 32/50 Kölsch is that it's only 4.8% ABV. It makes an excellent session beer and is available year round. Oh, and in case the map on the bottle isn't a dead giveaway, 32/50 refers to the latitudes of Charleston, SC and Köln, Germany. Cheers!

COAST 32-50 Kolsch