Not all the beers I review will be awesome or amazing and unfortunately, this is the first one to fall into this category.
My initial reaction to Uncommonly Brewers Bacon Brown Ale was that this had a lot of things I enjoy: I like bacon, I like ale style beer. My pretentious side said: I like organic, I like locally sourced santa cruz ingredients. It seemed that in order for this to fail, it would have to fall flat on it’s face and insult my taste buds in the process.
Let me first say that it is in a tall boy can to begin with. I am not a glass snob with my but I feel that this does occasionally make beer taste different. I understand that using aluminum is less of a drain on the environment but it feels like drinking a high life if I were to drink this straight out of the can. I would probably feel differently about the subject if the beer was delicious straight out the gate.
Upon opening the can and pouring the beer into a pint glass, it seemed that the beer was overly carbonated. The color is somewhere between light brown and Carmel and it filled the glass with no head. I took my first sip and thought, “I’m not going to be able to drink this”. The carbonation was so over powering that all I tasted was toasted grain and Vanilla coffee. The taste was good but I want to enjoy my beer without struggling to swallow it down.
I let the beer sit for about 15 minutes, taking sips every 2-3 minutes to see when it would get to a point where I could focus on taste and not solely on the tongue stabbing bubbles. Once it settled and opened up, my first goal was to find the bacon. It is prominently displayed on the bottle and this was the main selling point of my Cicerone in choosing this beer. So where’s the bacon?
This beer does not take a slab of bacon and kick you in the teeth but slips it in as an afterthought on the finish of the flavor. I don’t think I would have picked it up in a blind taste test and instead would have focused on the “buckwheat” and Frappuccino flavor that was very one note over the course of the glass. The alcohol was also there at 6.8% but again, it did nothing to add to the overall enjoyment except the warmness in my belly afterwards.
In the end, I can appreciate this company going out of it’s way to make this unique brew instead of making another seasonal beer. My hope is that in the future they will learn from their shortcomings and produce a better product before it is put on the refrigerated shelves of my local beer store.
I will continue to try beers from this company because I appreciate local, organic companies that think differently. My hope is the next one is awesome.