I got a nice package from my girl Donna, you might know her as @zappafaye on Twitter. In it were these 3 beers from Bent Kettle Brewing, a brewery that is making it’s mark in it’s home base of Wisconsin. The beers are unfiltered and unpasteurized, which I happen to dig a lot. Donna has “connections” in the Wisconsin beer scene, because she’s cool like that. AND because she’s cool, she’s a sharer. Anyway, I’m sure you are aware of my can obsession and have seen my favorite hashtag #ShowUsYourCans. Cans are gaining in popularity and earning more respect in the craft beer world . That’s because cans are awesome; they’re like nano-kegs. The only thing better than cans are 16 ounce “tall boys” filled with good beer. That’s what we have here.
I am indeed a hop head and so I was really excited about Insolence, their Double IPA and flagship beer. It has an 8.2% ABV and 84 IBU. The thing is, this is not your typical Double IPA. It’s maltier and more caramel-y than most IPAs, which was surprising, but in a good way. I’m not crazy about really malty beers, but this is a great balance of bitterness from hops and smooth caramel maltiness (apparently that’s not a real word, I don’t care). You immediately smell the fruits, like those of a tropical locale and some pine from the hops as well as the scent of fresh baked sweet rolls. The smell follows right through to the taste. It’s a medium body beer that gets better as it settles and warms. This is definitely a different take on a Double IPA and I like it…a lot. So did my boyfriend. I didn’t want to share, especially because I knew it would be difficult to get again, but it was the right thing to do. I hope I can get it again.
Rating: 4.5/5 KEGS
The second one I had was THWACK! which is their American IPA, coming in at 6.1% ABV and 51 IBU. First of all, this is one of my favorite graphics on a can design and the name is just fun to say. Second of all, this beer beat out DFH 60 Minute and some other big beers in a contest, so it also has that going for it. To the beer…I have some of the worst well water ever and it makes it difficult to get a really clean glass. Despite that, one of the first things I noticed was the beautiful lacing when I poured this out of the can into the glass. I didn’t pay attention to this much before, but it’s important, so pay attention. You can smell tropical and citrus-y fruits right away. There’s also grapes and that is a new one for me. I like new and different. Those smells carry through to the taste, with a bit more malt than bitter. Again, it’s well balanced and very drinkable. A lot of times I associate a beer with a season, like it would be great on the beach in the summer or by the fire in the winter. This time, I can see this being a standard in the year round drinking game. I’d like to have more of this.
Rating: 4/5 KEGS
(Sadly, I somehow have no picture of my final selection)
The last one I had was Go Fasters, their American Amber Ale with a 5% ABV and 40 IBU. There is a nice aroma of caramely malts and rye bread as well as a bit of fruit scent. This goes right through the taste and there’s a bit of nice spiciness, I’m assuming from the rye. There’s also a taste I can’t put my finger on, but it’s what outside smells like, kinda earthy. I know that not make sense, but it works. I’ve not had a ton of rye beers, but I’ve had enough to know that this is a great example of one. It’s not too heavy or malty; it’s well balanced and it has a smooth finish.
Rating: 4/5 KEGS
If you’re lucky enough to live in or near the land of cheese, brats and beer, you should make sure you try some Bent Kettle. They don’t have a brick and mortar place to visit yet, but you can check out where to find it at bentkettle.com or check them out on Twitter: @BentKettle or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BentKettleBrewing/
And remember, #ShowUsYourCans