Thursday, August 9, 2012

Atlas Brewing Company Review

Kudos!  Those go out to my pal who recommended that we go to Atlas Brewing Company and review their beers, that pal being none other than Dr. Kenneth Noisewater.  If you don't get that reference, look around on the web or perhaps Netflix and you'll come into light.  You can find the good doctor's review here.  It's hilarious as is his usual work.  As for Atlas, they're a new brewer on Lincoln Ave. here that is making their way the only way they know how.  And that's just a little bit more than the law will allow.  Well, no, they're not the Dukes and as far as I know, perfectly legal.  But they are a new dot in the constellation of brewers popping up all over Chi-town, including Hamburger Mary's of Andersonville which just hired a buddy of mine.  Go, B!  Anyway, let's get to the review.

Atlas Golden Ale.

Biscuity is how I'd describe this ditty, which is dark for a golden ale.  It's creamy and left a hefty amount of lacing on the glass.  A citrus flavor kicked in late.  This is a good intro for those who prefer milder beers.

Demeter Belgian Wheat.

I found this one to be cloudy colored with a chewy mouthfeel.  Mild Belgian yeast flavors creep in as you progress.  That means that you're not getting crazy banana flavors, just hints of it.

Brother Mauro.

Rightfully styled as a session ale at 4%, Mauro is fruity and has a soda-like quality.  I don't recall a ton about it.

Naiad Summer Belgian IPA.

You'll have to explain the name to me, but that word gets evoked yet again: biscuity!  It drinks more like a fruity pale ale than an IPA but I enjoyed the bit of hop crispness and moderate carbonation that both bite at the palate.  You bet I could session this.

Diversey Pale Ale.

Love this name.  It's one of my favorite streets in Chicago and where we exited the night before my first interview in Chicago on the heels of my move here.  Super creamy is how I'd describe this but the back end hops suck your palate dry.  You'll need Gunga Din to fetch some emergency pails of water.

Hyperion Double IPA.

Clearly, this beer is the first to mind when someone is asked to recall Atlas's roster.  If you read our blog, you know I have a thing for IPA's and a veritable black book on them.  I'd put this one on the juicy side, reminding me a bit of a less potent Arcadia Hop Mouth or a Wild Onion Hop Slayer.  It has strong earthy undertones.  But more on this beer in a minute.  Meanwhile it should write its number on down in the book and maybe I'll call.

Deep End Stout.

Call this one a mild session stout with some interesting roasted flavors. The first sip was watery but it grew on me as I dove in further. File this one in the "more on this in a minute" category.

1871 Smoked Porter.

You could easily get me to call this the best beer I had from Atlas.  I'm not a huge smoked beer guy but some I like.  Strong charcoal flavors and barrel-aged-like sweetness around the edges made this the most consistent sippee among the roster.  It even looks like KBS as it sits in the glass. This is their winner to date.

As a side-note, but not a small one, I did a spur-of-the-moment mix of the Deep End Stout with the Hyperion to see if I could make a black IPA.  The good doctor Noisewater swore my mix was 75-25 IPA, as I went for more hop flavor.  I recalled my alchemy experiment as roughly a 66-33 blend.  Both worked but Nosiewater was right that the proper mix required more IPA.  Either way, the earthy hop flavor and the stout's roast profile made for a positive brew.  The bartender agreed and recommended it to the next set of strangers, this couple that walked in but eerily disappeared in the back room for a while.  The bartender had me go in the back and look for them.  Gulp!

I'm hoping this beer mix goes viral and becomes their official IPA.  Mark's Black IPA, anyone?  I think so.  And what a great primer it was for Firestone's heralded Wookey Jack that is said to arrive this week in Chicago. Whoo hoo!  That licking sound you hear is coming from my chops. 

Atlas Brewing has a lot of competition but they are not afraid of it, trying out some distinct and challenging styles.  I'll be watching their progress.

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