Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lakefront Brewery's Fixed Gear Red Ale

I don't normally like to praise anything but this beer is fargin' good.

Lakefront Brewery is a brewery located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is living proof that cheese curds aren't the only thing good to come out of that place. They fired up the brews in 1987, which may ring a bell as the year those dirtbags from Minnesota stole the American league title from the renown Detroit Tigers. But these guys pump out almost 18,000 barrels a year and have about twenty recipes to their repertoire.

It was started when Jim and Russ Klisch were all about brewing some beer. Jim had some legitimate interest given the background of their family, as many members owned taverns.

Lakefront prides themselves on their ingenuity. They claim to be the first brewery to use fruit in their beer (1992 - Lakefront Cherry Beer). They also claim to be the makers of the first organically certified beer (1996 - Lakefront Organic ESB), though as I'm sure the avid readers remember, Eel River Brewery claimed to be the first organic brewery (1994). So someones not certified or someones a liar. Either way, I'm happy. Finally, these turkeys changed the governments definition of what beer is; talk about innovation. Due to gluten intolerant assholes (no offense), they wanted their New Grist "beer" to be New Grist beer. As everyone knows, beer is technically made of 25% malted barley. Well their New Grist contains hops, water, rice, sorghum and gluten free yeast (grown on molasses, obviously).

The brewery itself has won more award than I can shake a stick at, so why the heck would I list them all? If you care about awards and jazz, go look it up yourself! I will say this, Fixed Gear Red Ale hasn't won jack and is delicious, so one can only assume I'll continue trying their stuff!

Their Fixed Gear is delicious though. As the self proclaimed poet Jeremy Pettis once said "This is my girlfriend's favorite beer." Well, I'm a dude and I like it too. A total dude! This beer has a pretty solid amber color and pretty cloudy. I like cloudy ales because that using tells me if got some strong flavor and stronger than babe the blue ox; this bastard does not disappoint. Its got a heavy drink to it and a dry finish. It tastes hoppier than its 34 IBUs would suggest. It pours a decent sized, cream head and really tickles the old tastebuds.

I paid $5.50 for a glass but 6 packs cost about $9.00, so at 6.5% ABV you are certainly getting your moneys worth but is, by no means, the steal of the century. The label ranges somewhere between "cool" and "pretty neat" and if you like bicycles and beer, this might be right up your alley. The use 2-row and dark caramel malts with Chinook and Cascade hops. The recipe is similar to the Sierra Nevada Big Foot Ale, so if you like that, you'll love this! If I saw this at a bar, I would definitely get it again. $5.50 is steep but worth it. If you pass up a 6-pack at the store, you're a total doofus.

Drinkability: 7/10
Taste: 9/10
Value: 5/10
Curb Appeal: 8/10

Overall: 7.3/10

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