This is The Brew Review: a new beer review every week. I may not be a beer expert but I think I’ve had enough cerveza to be able to give you an honest opinion and some ideas for great beers to try.
Allies Win the War
Brew: 21st Amendment Allies Win the War (Special Edition)
Type: Ale (Brewed with dates)
Receptacle: 12 oz. can
Cost: About $9 for a 4-pack
This week’s brew is from a local brewery: 21st Amendment, which is based in San Francisco but available in cans in many cities across the country. 21st Amendment is probably best known for its Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer but personally, I prefer their hoppier beers to the watermelon brew.
We picked up the Allies Win the War on a recommendation from an employee at BevMo, who, after finishing chewing whatever it was he was eating, told us that it was similar to Fat Tire, but that he actually liked this unique brew better than the New Belgium standard. Relying on his advice and also basing our decision on the awesome can art and packaging, we grabbed a four pack on a hot Saturday in the Bay.
To give this well-endowed (8.5% ABV) ale its unique taste (and its name), 21st Amendment teamed up with Ninkasi Brewing in Oregon to create what they describe as “a traditional English-style Strong ale,” but with a twist: the ale is aged with California dates and uses hops from the Pacific Northwest.
Medium brown in color with a smoky taste, this brew definitely has a unique flavor. Although the BevMo guy compared it to Fat Tire, I’d liken it more to a brown ale in the English style, like Newcastle. The dates gave it a bit of a different flavor, but I promise this beer didn’t taste like dates and I wouldn’t have known dates were used without seeing it on the can. A bit malty, a little nutty and slightly creamy tasting, I liked this brew well enough, plus the clever title and art were awesome (another part of the 21st Amendment experience). Despite her interest in history jokes, Anna, on the other hand, described the flavor thusly, “It’s like a porter had sex with an expired Fat Tire.” Not really how I’d describe it, but we have different palettes for a reason.
Verdict: It wasn’t my favorite to drink on a hot day, but I think it’d be something I’d drink if it wasn’t 95 degrees. It was a bit heavy for Anna and we didn’t pair it too well with our spaghetti sandwiches (we’re very adult), but I imagine it would be great with maybe a beef stew, meatloaf or salisbury steak. Not my favorite of 21st Amendment’s offerings but still a good beer, especially for brown ale fans who want something with a twist on the classic taste.
In other craft brew news: Check out this awesome article from 7×7 on why craft breweries (including 21st Amendment and New Belgium) are starting to put their beer in cans.
Disclaimer: Unless otherwise indicated, beers reviewed were purchased by me (or my friends) and were in no way sponsored by the brewery or any retailer. If any brewery wants to give me free beer, they should feel free to contact me.