Monday, May 9, 2011

Beer Flights

Sara's Beer Flight

1st: Fox Barrel Pear Cider: a great crisp clean taste like a D'Anjou pear, similar to a Reisling wine, only a beer.

2nd: Crispin Cider Desert Noir: Another cider ale with sweet prickly pear and agave flavors, a little woodiness from the oak barrel aging.

3rd: Anderson Valley Summer Solstice: Like a not-too-sweet cream soda in your nut brown ale.

4th: North Coast Brother Thelonious: A perfect dark belgian-style abbey ale. Dark and rich, not heavy.

After sipping a quality microbrew, it's hard to pick up a Miller Lite again. When Sugar Maple, a craft beer mecca, opened near our house a few years ago, I rejoiced. Sixty taps of revolving hard-to-find microbrews line the bar. So, if you don't recognize the breweries or the brewing styles, the best way to tackle the taps it to order a beer flight, similar to a wine flight. You pick any four 6 oz beers from their menu and start tasting. I usually try to order from lightest to darkest or sweet to bitter - the bartenders are really good for suggestions. Some microbrews are really strong, smoky, or spicy, or so bitter you spit it out, so getting the smaller sample size is a safer bet then laying your finger down and hoping it lands on something good.

If you don't have a Sugar Maple type of bar nearby or a bar that offers beer flights, some stores offer single bottles of microbrew or table bottles. With a group of friends, or dinner party, make your own beer flights and see what everyone likes.

P.S. You know I like my cheese, but cheese pairs beautifully with beer.


  1. Those cider ones sound delicious! After reading this, I emailed my husband about this place. We'll have to check it out sometime.

  2. If you like cider ales, then try some of the lambics like Lindeman's. Happy sampling!

  3. Lindemans is very tasty! They serve that at Silver Creek Brewing Co. in Cedarburg, which is where we usually go when we go out for beer.

  4. I love going to Sugar Maple and giving a bartender an adjective -- say, smoky -- and having him or her pick something for me. It's a fun way to discover new breweries. Sugar Maple is a treasure!



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