If there’s one thing that completely irritates us in the Firewater Lounge about greenhorn bandwagon beer snobs in the popular craft beer scene, it’s the idea that the hoppier the beer the more sophisticated and good it is. So these so-called connoisseurs choke down an extra Indian, extra pale ale with extra, super-modified hoppy hops and proclaim how awesome it is, while holding back bitter tears and a gag reflex that would impress Katie Morgan. It would be akin to us handing a Firewater Lounge Lizard a cocktail composed of Angostura and Peychaud bitters alone, promise its tastiness, and promptly watch said Lizard spew it back over our virtual bar, screaming, ‘What is that crap!'
Bitterness is a characteristic that is rarely the star; to get it to intelligently perform in your beverage, you need to know your craft. To drink bitterness intelligently, you need to understand what balance in a drink means. That means you must drink more than IPAs to understand and appreciate good beers. So let’s point you in a good direction.
Not far from the Lounge (less than two miles actually), Tom Porter crafts great beer at Lake Louie. We’ve happily poured cocktails for your enjoyment from his stouts (milk stout and Mr. Mephisto’s Imperial) but we haven’t yet spotlighted a single beer in our Drinking Notes Series, until now.
The Twins is Lake Louie’s newest seasonal release. It is the brewery’s first Maibock, or Heller Bock, the beer that traditionally transitions Bavarians from severe winters to hot summers. The Twins, named for the zodiac sign Gemini, covers the time period of May-to-June, the classic release period for a Maibock.
The Twins pours out with a clear golden body with a medium liquidy head that refuses a lasting lacing. The aroma isn’t overwhelming, but distinctly and pleasantly malty. It tastes characteristically bready with its heavy, smooth maltiness that is checked in the background with just the right amount of hops. It would be a shame to reject this beer on account of the lack of IBUs (about 30); but, if you do, it means more for us at the Firewater Lounge, because here The Twins, along with Warped Speed and Milk Stout, is our favorite of the local brews.