Left Hand – Sawtooth Ale
This is the first Left Hand Beer I have tried. It is their flagship brew. Very similar to an English bitter, but I found that it lacked its own personality. Don’t get me wrong it was very flavorful, but not unique. There are so many other stars in the English Bitter category, I will stick to Fuller’s ESB or Rogue’s Brutal Bitter.
Flying Dog – Tire Bite Golden Ale
I remember the first time I tried this beer and thought…hmm that’s refreshing. Then I poured the next one in a glass and was taken back at how light in color it was. This beer is great if you are looking for a flavorful, light ale that has lager crispness. I think it works well with Asian food. I am a big fan of this beer. If you only like big hoppy darker ales you will be disappointed.
Rogue – American Amber Ale
Wooo hooo this is a fantastic beer. A perfect example of an Amber Ale. Somewhat cleaner then Rouge’s Dead Guy Ale, but just as flavorful. Nicely balanced malt, hops and caramel flavor, beautiful deep copper brown color. The thing I noticed most about this beer was how long its finish was. Very enjoyable and difficult to only drink one.
Victory – St. Boisterous Hellerbock
I have always enjoyed Victory’s White beer, so I decided to try this one. It is a full bodied golden lager beer. I prefer it served very cold as it gets very bitter as it warms up. It has a sweet smell and taste would be good cold on a hot Summer Day. If you like a heavier lager you will like this one. I could live without this beer.
Full Sail – Amber Ale
What a nice smooth flavorful beer this is. Nicely balanced malt to hops ratio. As the name would suggest it is a copper colored beer with almost pink or red accents in the glass. A bit crispier then the Bell’s Amber and more balanced if you prefer a less hoppy ale. The Full sail is very clean. Another great food beer I think this would go well with just about anything. It looks as though Full Sail has recently re-branded itself, either that or I am just out of touch. Did not even recognize the packaging on the shelf.
Rogue – Dead Guy Ale
OK another fantastic beer from the Rogue Brewing Company. This one is even better then the red. A nice bitter caramel treat. I picked up a wonderful burnt, smoky flavor. This beer has the crispness of a lager but the flavor of an ale. It is a beautiful copper color, light enough that you can enjoy 2 in succession and not get burned out on it. Would be a great companion for pork and sauerkraut.
Rogue – St. Rouge’s Red Ale
Rogue is a premier micro brewer. All of their beers are top notch. Some can be a bit over powering if you prefer a lighter beer. The Red Ale is a nice balance. It has a nice character of its own but will not overwhelm the palette. It is a rich somewhat sweet, copper ale. In the glass it displays a nice large head. It tastes of caramel and bread and is lightly hopped. Great food beer would go well with a steak and fries or a good burger.
Anchor Steam Beer
I forgot how good Anchor Steam Beer is. What the heck is a “Steam Beer” I asked? It turns out that it is an anchor trademarked term. Also referred to as a California Common…in simple terms it means it’s an amber lager. This medium bodied beer tastes of butter and caramel with a mild hoppy bitterness. I think it’s a good food beer because it does not have an overpowering hoppy aroma and its crispness lends itself well to a variety of dishes. Would be a great option at a BBQ.
Bell’s – Amber Ale
It is pretty hard to go wrong with any beer from Bell’s unless you prefer beer that does not have any flavor. My top favorites are the Two Hearted Ale and the Amber Ale. I keep going back and forth as to which one I like better so I am proclaiming them a tie. The Amber Ale is a bright copper beer that is mildly hoppy and jam packed with caramel goodness. Read the fine print on the side of most Bell’s six packs. They recommend always decanting this beer due to the fact that it is unfiltered. Uhh the way it’s supposed to be. I’ll have to buy some more Two Hearted Ale to do a side-by-side comparison.