American Craft Beer Week is May 15th through May 21st, so I’m doing what any self-respecting blogger would do:
using it as an excuse to get drunk during the middle of the week taking my readers on a flavorful journey of awesome craft beers from all across the country. Each night I’ll select a different craft beer to review. For the sake of journalistic integrity, I will be consuming each beer immediately prior to reviewing it. In fact, I may have 2 or 3 just to make sure that I get it right.
I would like to preface this by saying that I am by no means a beer expert. If you’re looking to hear about how the beer has hints of grapefruit, or what the “mouthfeel” is, you’ve come to the wrong place. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to bring that type of insight, I’m just letting you know now that I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. Let’s put it this way: if there were a beer Wonderlic test, I’d probably come in with a solid, but unspectacular, 23 (take that Tim Tebow!). I can tell you what I like and I can tell you what I don’t like. After that, you’re own your own to form your own opinions. Now without further ado, let’s review some beers.
I’m going to get things started with an offering from one of my favorite local Cincinnati breweries:
The Brewery: Rhinegeist
The Beer: Knowledge
We’re coming in hot right out of the gate with an Imperial IPA offering from Rhinegeist out of Cincinnati, OH. If you’re ever in Cincy and you’re looking for a good place to grab a beer or two, I would definitely recommend Rhinegeist. Their spacious taproom is a great place to hang out and have a good time. Located inside the shell of an old bottling plant, it definitely has a very unique feel to it. They have an excellent selection of beers and, thanks to the openness of the building, they’re able to have multiple ping pong tables and corn hole boards set up to keep you busy for hours.
“Knowledge”, an Imperial IPA, is a relatively new Beer for Rhinegeist. The craft beer scene is oversaturated with IPAs, so it can sometimes hard to distinguish one from another. When I first began my foray into craft beer (I was a Bud Light guy well into my mid-20’s), I was not an IPA fan at all. That’s definitely changed now though, as some my favorite beers are IPAs. I would rank “Knowledge” right up there with the top of them.
I did notice a slight citrus and grapefruit taste/aroma, but that may be due more to the fact that that’s what the can told me to expect than anything I actually perceived with my own senses. Speaking of the can, they definitely earned bonus points from me with the matte finish. I’m pretty conservative when it comes to football uniforms (a rant for another day), so I often dislike when teams go with the matte helmets, but I think it looks awesome on a beer can. Overall I really liked the flavor of this beer. Being an Imperial IPA, it was definitely on the hoppy side, so if you’re not into bitterness then you’ll probably want to keep moving on to something else. If you’re an IPA fan though, then I highly recommend “Knowledge”.
A slight word of warning, at 8.5% alcohol this beer packs a bit of a punch. Not strongest beer I’ve ever encountered but I was already starting to feel it after one. This definitely isn’t the type of beer you want to consume in bulk. [Insert obligatory “Please enjoy responsibly” messsge here].
That’s all for tonight but be sure to join me throughout the rest of the week as I explore more craft brews from around the U.S. If you enjoy what you see be sure to hit the “like” button and check out the rest of the site. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter as well. And if you have any recommendations on good craft beers to try, leave me a comment or send me a message, I’m always looking to try new brews.