On a recent trip to Grand Forks, I picked up an array of Leech Lake beers and had good time drinking their portfolio--which surprised me slightly. It was surprising only because my first samples at the Autumn Brew Review in 2010 and 2011 didn't match up to the bottles. With the vagaries of festival tasting, getting a less than accurate impression of a brewery can happen.
In reading reviews, I saw a statement that Leech Lake Brewing only used Fuggles hops. In an email response from the brewer, Greg confirms that he only uses Fuggles hops for his beers and likes them for their versatility for bittering, taste and aroma, but also for their ability to balance the malty English beers brewed at LLB. Because of brewing capacity, personal choice and the hop friendly hard water of the Leech Lake area, Greg plans to continue his focus on styles from the United Kingdom.
From the website list, I'm only missing a bottle of the Loch Leech Monster, a Scottish ale, and hope to rectify that later this year with a visit to the taproom. Even if I don't like the beer, the leech monster on the label is worth the price of admission.
Previous reviews of Leech Lake beers:
47º North IPA
Blindside Pale Ale