Monday, December 9, 2013

Drop In Brewing Shooting Star

In becoming lackluster keeping up with the blog, I decided to stop by Drop In Brewing Company after work last week to refill a couple squeelers I previously purchased. After tasting six samples on draught I decided to go with Shooting Star, an English-style special bitter brewed as a test batch by students of the American Brewer's Guild. A simple beer, this English bitter does not leave much room for error and when done right, it can be quite satisfying and sessionable.

Alcohol Content: 3.9%
IBU: ?
Malts: 2-Row, Crystal
Hops: Liberty, Tettnang

Price: $5/ "squeeler" refill (32 oz); $7/ growler refill (64 oz)
Medium: English pint glass

Aroma: Delicate floral hop nose and toasty malt sweetness with background notes of caramel. No signs of alcohol. Slightly fruity esters, of which are appropriate. A great example of the "Burton snatch" - this beer is high in sulfur and leaves a minerally character in the water profile. I wouldn't be surprised if large amounts of calcium sulfate were added to Middlebury's relatively soft water. No diacetyl.
Appearance: Great clarity - filtered as part of the students practice using filtration equipment. Light amber to copper in color or slightly red. White-ish head and decent retention. Low caronation.
Flavor: Lends a delicate malty start with caramel sweetness and lightly toasted bread. Hops balanced nicely with the delicate maltyness, lending a floral and spicy character. Hops also linger on the side of freshly cut grass. Hop bitterness is moderately strong but remains in check by the malts. Finish is semi-dry, whereby the mineral content becomes more noticeable and suggests high sulfates. Aftertaste is where the "Burton snatch" is perceived again by pushing the aromatics back out through the nose. Some earthy characteristics parallel the sulfur notes in the aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-light in body conjured by a faint carbonation. Sulfury. Bitter but also fairly balanced. No alcohols or warming effect. Low carbonation offers a wateriness to the body, providing little viscosity and allowing for an easy-drinking experience. Hoppy mouthfeel, but not like the dank resinous hops you may find in an IPA.
Overall Impression: Drinkability is critical for this style and I think Shooting Star is a good fit for this component. I thought it was reminiscent of the beers I may find in London, but then again I've never been to London. That said, it fits well with the few canned examples I've tasted that are true to the style. It's very straightforward and a great beer to learn how to brew. Can easily be enjoyed in various settings from a nice sunny day to pairing with a hearty meal on a cold winter's night.


  1. The blog is looking pretty impressive these days!

  2. Thanks! The trouble is finding (or creating) the time to keep up with it. I need to set more obtainable goals like trying to do 2 a week. I noticed that you've cut down a little as well but still continue to do some really cool things as well. Taking my exam at the end of the month and the writing is tremendously helping me practice/ study. After my exam studies are over perhaps I will create a new site or re-do all my early tastings since I have learned much since then!