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Beer Of The Month Club: August 2009

For my birthday, one of my buddies got me a membership to the C&H Beer Of The Month Club, giving me a twelve-pack of microbrews from different breweries around the country every month. This month: Diamond Bear Presidential IPA, Alley Kat Amber, Licher Pilsner, and Florida Hurricane Reef Pale Ale.

Diamond Bear Brewing Company have created a nice ale with their Presidential IPA. A very opaque beer, the Presidential makes a point of tasting big and hoppy, full of that distinctive flavor that proves that this beer is not your typical reggaeton-blasting deli purchase. That’s just it, though—this tastes like an IPA defined, without any of the distinctions that make other IPAs so desirable. A tasty beverage, to be sure, but nothing to write home about.

The Alley Kat Amber is a good mix of light frothiness and nutty, coffee-like flavor, making it both an easy drink and a distinct flavor. While it in no way changes this brown ale’s robust flavor, the lightness of the beer itself is a little off-putting; I like an Amber to be nice and heavy with a decent thickness on the tongue, and this beer seems to move too fast, if that makes any sense. Strange, but nice.

The Licher Pilsner is, simply, fantastic. All too often are Pilsners created as vodka-beers: tasteless, easily chugged, devoid of character (the obvious example being the King itself). Licher, however, has created a Pilsner that is not only light and golden, but also complex and flavorful. Each refreshing mouthful leaves the drinker wanting another taste, and even as the beer sits and gets warmer, it doesn’t become gross or flavorless the way more common Pilsners do. Impressive and delightful.

Florida Beer Company wins this month’s batch with their Hurricane Reef Pale Ale. Lacking the over-the-top hoppiness of the Presidential IPA but retaining a traditional pale ale color and tastiness, this beer is the best of both worlds, a distinct ale without the knock-down-drag-out taste of a beer that has something to probe. There’s a metallic taste upon the first sip, but it seems to blend in well as the drinker continues enjoying the beverage. Truly a wonderful beer.

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