Alcohol Content: 5.0%
Price: $3.50/ half (8oz); $6.50/ pint
Medium: 8oz water or juice glass
Aroma: Restrained fruity esters with a touch of sweetness from the moderate malt aroma. Malt is consistent with a toasty character, while the hops play a minor role. I also get some hints of bread, caramel, toffee, and honey from the sweetness (within the toasted maltiness).
Appearance: Clear, but not completely brilliant as the style suggests. This is perhaps due my perception of the beer's light amber to copper color as being a factor in clarity. Poured for almost no head, which retained to only a white-ish thin foam lingering around the rim of the glass. Tiny bubbles persist up the sides of the glass in a slow, uniform line.
Flavor: Sweet bready and toasty malt flavors with hints of honey upfront. This turns into a supporting bitterness, just enough to give a perception of balance. Both malts and hops manage to support each other through to a very crisp, clean finish. If I had to say, the bitterness was slightly earthy. Balance is still favored toward the soft, toasted malts. Even more of a sweet finish than the Helles.
Mouthfeel: Pleasant, smooth, easy-drinking (in other words desirable). Moderate carbonation. Somewhat chewy character to the malts. Everything feels very clean and refreshing. Aftertaste is comprised of a lightly toasted character with a lingering sweetness. Typical styles may be a bit dry on the palate, but this was not the case.
Overall Impression: Not too strong or overwhelming. The presence of sweet malts matches up to the toasted profile, giving it that lighter character than Marzen or Oktoberfest. I asked a couple of the servers for suggested food pairings, and they certainly had a lot of great information to offer. We discussed a firm cheese plate or a turkey burger as being great options - thanks to The Farmstead staff for actually knowing about beer styles, unlike most establishments I have found in the area.