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Beer Club 21: Hybrid Styles

Hybrid Styles

For our 21st Beer Club I wanted to discuss hybrid styles. Hybrid styles are those with both ale and lager characteristics.

Our first stop on the hybrid journey is the cream ale, and we started that with the more mass-market one, the Genesee Cream Ale. This was actually far from the worst beer. It was refreshing with a nice grainy finish. Fairly well-liked.

The next beer was Henry Weinhard’s Blue Boar. This made the Genesee look like craft. Very little flavor, very forgettable.

The final cream ale was the Pelican Kiwanda Cream Ale. I really enjoyed this beer, and had a wonderful fruity-ness. Really tasty beer.

We had the Kolsch after that, and one of my favorite beers, the Sunner Kolsch. This is a fantastic beer that I’ve enjoyed many times. Good price point for a great beer.

The only other Kolsch was the Alaskan Summer. Not a bad beer, but a bit of a let down after the Sunner.

The biggest representation of hybrid’s is the Blonde Ale category. We started with the Kona Big Wave, which actually had an enjoyable fruity-ness in a crisp package. Shockingly, not a bad beer.

Widmer’s Citra was alright, but again, pretty forgettable. I don’t even think most people had any thoughts about it.

The Deschutes River Ale was a particularly unsatisfactory beer when I had it last, but in the tasting it turned out quite well. The grainy finish made this beer and became a favorite of mine during the tasting.

We had a couple locals up next, starting with the Diamond Knot Blonde Ale. It was infected. Not the first infected beer that I’ve had from them, so it’s pretty upsetting.

The American Blonde was next, but it had a surprising hop kick that didn’t vibe with the other beers. Just felt off-balanced.

Steam Beer was the second to last style we tried. Anchor Steam was first. I don’t need to tell anyone about this beer. I don’t know if it showed that well in the tasting, but I thought it was fantastic as I always do.

I’m actually pretty shocked I was able to find another Steam Beer, but luckily Widmer just released their Columbia Common. It’s a pretty tasty brew with a bit of a hop kick and a dusty malt flavor.

Bringing up the rear, and a well-liked change from the others is the Alaskan Amber which is actually an altbier. The little kick of sweetness was a welcome end to the night.

I think this tasting turned out pretty well, and it was a fantastic night. Some new faces were in the crowd and I hope they got a little taste of something new. Not bad for our 21st. We’ve got Black IPAs lined up next.

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