Friday, November 29, 2013

Foley Brothers Ginger Wheat

Foley Brothers brewery out of Brandon, VT debuted their Ginger Wheat along with a brown ale over Thanksgiving weekend. Vermont grown hops, wheat, and ginger were all used in the process. Although I sampled it at the brewery's grand opening, I bought both to bring home and review for a later time. I've been meaning to open this one before it ages for too long.

Alcohol Content: 6.3%
IBU: ?
Malts: ?
Hops: ?

Price: ?
Medium: Pint glass

Aroma: Ginger is very forward and wants to come out of the beer as I pour into a glass. Base malts come across as grainy and mildly sweet. Some spiciness may come from both alcohol and hops, but I also find the hops to be more floral while the alcohol provides warmth and spice. Slight banana character suggests isoamyl acetate from yeast/ fermentation. This is partially covered up by the ginger. Also somewhat tart or lemon-like citrus, which some describe is a malted wheat character so it could be power of suggestion that implanted this thought.
Appearance: Presents a dense haze typical of wheat beers, especially for traditionally unfiltered versions. A nice goldenrod color with a head of white foam forms - decent retention. Moderately high carbonation is visible in the body. Some sediment in the bottom of the bottle.
Flavor: Soft graininess on the front end of the palate with a pleasant sweetness. Ginger combines with an assertive bitterness to overtake the malt flavors. This is where I also started to pick up on more of the banana notes that continue into the aftertaste. Banana (isoamyl acetate), and high carbonation clashes a bit with the ginger character. Hops come across as floral. Fruity esters from fermentation linger on perfume-like. Some alcohol spice in the finish. Balanced more towards bitterness, with ginger being the showcase ingredient.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body partially due to high carbonation that helps lift the overall experience - increased carbonic acid also makes the beer feel more acidic than it probably is (all beer is acidic to some degree). Bitterness is relatively high. Some drying in the aftertaste, although the malts leave some residual sweetness as well.
Overall Impression: An obvious approach to pairing this beer would be sushi, as the intense ginger is known to cleanse the palate between sushi dishes. After talking to Patrick Foley, one of the brewers, I was informed that they may go with a different approach to labeling the beer/ changing the name. They are still early in the business and have much to explore and I look forward to keeping up with their new beers.

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