Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Queen is easy

There's a little brewery in Dallas, WI trying to produce some mighty fine beer. They used to distribute their beer themselves, driving a refridgerated van around the Twin Cities. Maybe they still do, but judging by their availability, I'm guessing times have changed. You can now find them in most fine beer establishments and retailers around the metro area.

Viking Brewery mainly focuses on German-style beers, lots of lagers, but also produces Belgian and English beers, and delves into some experimental stuff, like their Hot Chocolate Stout brewed with cocoa, milk sugar and cayenne pepper. I've only worked through a few of 'em, and they're either a great hit or a slight miss. I recently tried their Weather Top Wheat as I was going through my wheat stage, and found it perfect. Nice balance of sweetness and bitterness, with a touch of honey to balance out the malts.

Tonight I picked up a four pack of Queen Victoria's Secret from 1st Grand Ave liquors. The clerk raved about it, emphasizing how much he loved bitter IPAs, so I was anxious to try it. The open was soft and easy on the nose, and I knew when I poured it that it wasn't going to wallop me over the head with an extra dose of hops. I kept expecting a nice head to form, but it never did. It seems sometimes, with small breweries. they just can't get the carbonation right. What's so hard about adding some more sugar?

The pour made me lower my expectations a little, and so I knew there wouldn't be any magic when I went to taste it. Given that, the Queen turned out to be a light, airy, English-style IPA, with some pleasant citrus undertones, making it an accessible beer, even for the bitter skeptics. The hops are definitely the highlight of the beer, and the simplicity of the elements makes it easy to distinguish the various strains.

Ok, not really, but I grew Fuggles hops for a couple seasons, and it was easy for me to pick them out. Unfortunately, they took over my garage and I had to get rid of them. Tasty fellers tho.

Queen Victoria is a good beer to introduce a friend to IPAs, but this is not really what an IPA snob would want to drink over and over again. I had a reunion with a Snake Dog this past week, which is a solid IPA. In other words, the Queen ain't no Mojo or Devil. Still, they're a small family run brewery, and are worth checking out. You just might get that perfect bottle.

3 comments:

Evel said...

Your political takes are so ill informed and sophomoric that I assume that you also know nothing about beer.

Eric said...

thanks for that insightful comment. i bet it took a lot of time to think up something so clever and logical to post.

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