Butler County Times Gazette
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries.
A look at a few new beers
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By Norman Miller
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries. Norman is a reporter and beer columnist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, email ...
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The Beer Nut
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries. Norman is a reporter and beer columnist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, email nmiller@wickedlocal.com or call 508-626-3823. Or, follow the Beer Nut at his Twitter page at www.twitter.com/realbeernut.
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By Norman Miller
June 4, 2013 5:11 p.m.



It’s time to take a look at a few new beers that have hit the liquor store shelves in the past few weeks – some are tasty and others … well, others may be an acquired taste.

First up is the Jack’s Abby Brewing’s Smoked Maple Lager. This beer was a collaboration with Lawson’s Finest Liquids of Vermont, and features maple syrup and the malt is smoked on maple.

If you’re a fan of smoked beers, you should enjoy this beer. It falls somewhere in between the smokiness of Jack’s Abby Smoke & Dagger and their Fire in the Ham, but with the added hint of sweet maple at the end.

I really enjoyed this beer, and I’m glad I picked up a bunch of bottles. It’s a great beer to drink while eating some grilled meats.

magic-hat-hicuNext up is Magic Hat’s newest entry their summer mixed pack, the Hicu. That’s not a misspelling, it’s a play on two ingredients – hibiscus and cucumbers.

The Hicu was my second cucumber beer, and I have come to the realization that cucumber is not an ingredient that needs to be in beer. I enjoy cucumbers as part of a salad, but in beer it’s just not right.

If you like cucumbers, give it a try, but I’ll pass on this one for the rest of my life.

Next up is the Mission St. 2013 Anniversary Ale. Mission St. is an exclusive brand of beer brewed by Steinhaus Brewing Company for the Trader Joe’s chain.

Generally, I find the Mission St. beers to be right in the “OK” level – nothing to gt you excited, but good fridge fillers due to the low price.

The 2013 Anniversary Ale is one of the better beers. It is an 8.5 percent alcohol by volume imperial brown ale. It is full-bodied, with nice roasted notes and a sweet malt backbone.

You can’t beat the price, at less than $4 for a bomber, and it’s a solid beer.

Finally, the brand new Luna Moth from the Smuttynose Brewing Company is definitely worth trying.

This limited-release hoppy saison is a delight. At 7.2 percent ABV, its bigger than a traditional saison, but it doesn’t drink that way. The hops add flavors of pears and melon, which is fabulous for the summer.

If you see this beer, I’d pick it up, because it won’t be available for long.

 

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