Monday, April 30, 2012
Walleye Chop Lager (Bank Beer Co, Hendrickson, MN)
My obsession with my major pursuits in life often prevents me from being this nice and I should learn from Dave's fine example.
The beer to taste is Walleye Chop by Bank Beer Co in Hendricks, MN. I had a less that satisfactory sample last fall at the Autumn Brew Review. Being a light lager, a beer festival is hardly the place to get a good sampling of this lager. Guessing it was later in the day when I got to it, so it didn't fair well. Glad to have the opportunity to try a full can to give it a better evaluation.
Hazy orange lager that's shimmering gold around the edges. Stark white head of irregular bubbles lingers lightly before falling to a thin film with no lace at all. Second glass had a solid lace though. Nose is a straight forward American lager that has a sweet biscuity malt and corn with a caramel backbone to support a stronger than average apple note from the yeast along with a hint of spice from the hops. Very sweet base with an earthy hoppiness in the taste followed with a corn twang off the back. Light and easy to drink, but not thin. It has enough body to give it some heft for the style.
From the website, I missed the oats, but the smooth flavor clearly reflects the addition. Aftertaste is pleasant and avoids the negative leftover of most American lagers. The highest of all lager compliments: it's brewed clean with no off flavors that are so easily produced in a light lager. If I found myself in a Northwoods hunter/fisher bar and Walleye Chop was in a tap line of macros, I'd ask for a pint. Clearly better than my initial taste, this macrolager clone has more to it than meets the eye.
Directly west of the Twin Cities and barely short of the South Dakota border, Bank Beer Co is your basic brew story with a twist: a homebrewer turned pro from dreaming around pints, but this one includes a Finnegans-like consciousness. In this case, a portion of the profits go to preservation of land for hunting and local history. While I'm not a part of their primary demographic, I applaud Bank's effort to make their corner of the world a better place.