- Mike Riedel
Fisher - White Star: This pale ale is offered on Fisher's nitrogen tap, and was originally created by Hollister Brewing Company out of Goleta, Calif. Fisher's Head Brewer, Colby Frazier, got his start at Hollister, and this beer was a favorite during his time there.
The beer pours a nice golden-amber color, with a haze due to the nitro bubbles upon initially pouring. The beer settles quickly, leaving a one-finger head of white nitro foam on the top of the brew. The head has a great level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a nice bit of foamy lace on the sides of the glass. The aroma of this brew is massive: As soon as you open the can, you get whacked by a very bready smell mixed with tons of floral and herbal hops. Along with these big scents comes some lighter citrus and earthy hops as well.
The taste begins with a biscuit and bready flavor mixed with some dank hop tastes of earth and herb. As the taste advances, some of the lighter sweet flavors of caramel and pear which are present and light upfront fade away, all while more hop of a grassy, citrus, and floral nature come to the tongue. With the lessening of the bready-ness and the increase in the hops, one is left with a dank hopped and malty taste to linger on the tongue.
Overall: I don't think people are used to the palate confusion of a nitro pale ale with no carbonation; most would call this beer "too flat." It may not be everyone's bag, but Fisher nailed this beer. It's hoppy as all get-out, with that creamy Guinness texture. The main difference between the feel on this vs. Guinness? Guinness is thin and watery (IMO), while this beer is not thin-bodied by any means. I had two more pulls off the nitro handle, and look forward to more.
Uinta Party Mansion: Sour beers are becoming quite popular among beer nerds and anyone who doesn't quite like the traditional tastes of beers. Traditional methods of souring beer include adding lactic acid, acidulated malts or specialized yeast strains. A few years ago, biologists in Philadelphia discovered a new yeast strain native to that area, and found it to have pleasant souring properties. Uinta Brewing got their hands on some "Philly Sour Yeast" and came up with Party Mansion.
It pours purplish or reddish gold, and generally quite clear. A finger of white foamy head fades quickly, and there's a good amount of visible carbonation. A tart aroma emerges, not lactic by any means, with some under-ripe berries, plus light two-row malts with a moderate peach character and mild, lemony citric acid.
Lactic tartness starts out the taste, as well as something that could be blueberries, but more like raspberries and boysenberries and (to a lesser extent) cherries as well. They are not artificial, but taste like they have some stone fruit flavors lurking beneath them, tart and sweet together. Cracker malts appear again, less husk than on the nose but still there. More tart berries and lemony citric acid conclude things near the swallow, and it finishes dry and tart with just a mild pucker on the lips.
Overall: One thing I liked about this yeast is the very low levels of sulphur that is produced; though it doesn't have the funk of some Belgian-esque strains, the sour level will satisfy but not overwhelm. I'd love to see Uinta revive the wild/brett sour program again. Until then, sours like this will do.
Of course, these are in limited production, and in this heat, they will disappear before you know it, so hustle on over to their respective breweries to snag a pint or two. As always, cheers!