Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blind Pig Brewery

Well, yesterday was the Blind Pig Brewery (Piglet) beer release.

They currently have three house beers and a cider on tap. Their samplers were 3 for $4, and are decent sized. They are also served on a neat carrier.

The bar is dark, so getting a good picture on the cellphone isn't the easiest thing. Each of the beers are in vats behind the bar, and have their Original Gravity, Final Gravity, and Alcohol By Volume on them. Additionally the IBU's are listed (not on the cider).

I had the Hefe, Kolsch, and IPA.

The Hefeweizen was a pale yellow, it was cloudy with a light thin head. There was a little bit of a malt presence and no hops in the nose, unless there was a bit of a floral smell, but I couldn't tell if that was leftover soap on my hands. When I first smelled the three beers to figure out which was which, the Hefe had an obvious banana note. Later that went away. It had a decent mouthfeel and was a little bit fizzy. It didn't have any noticeable banana. There was some sweetness and a bit of florally hops in it. I thought it to be a decent sessionable beer.

The next beer was the Kolsch. (Kolsch beer can only be brewed in Cologne, Germany, so this one is a Kolsch style). This was light and somewhat clear, almost a bit greenish; there was some haze. Apparently it's a Wieß Kölsch, which is an unfiltered version that is cloudy (So they don't have filtering capabilities, I get it). It had a slight hoppy smell. It had a rather thick mouthfeel. The taste was predominately a bit bitter, with a little bit of malt. I didn't really like it. Gene (from the beer club) thought this to be his favorite beer there.

My final sample was the IPA. This was to be a traditional IPA. It was 6.5% ABV, and had 55 IBU. It wasn't that bitter. It had a lot of malt. It was a darker brown than I would have expected. It looked to be unfiltered, as all their beers seemed to be unfiltered. It smelled bitter, but that's from the East Kent Goldings hops. They didn't really smell piney, or floral, it just smelled... bitter. It did have a bit of sweetness in the smell initially. As it warmed up, it started to smell quite caramelly. It felt rather thick. Definitely more thick than the others on the menu. It's final gravity was 1.012, and it seemed really heavy for that. It also was quite drying. It initially tasted sweet (Gene thought there was an unpleasant initial taste that he couldn't quite figure out; he thought the beer was off or wrong) it eventually turned into a lingering bitter, that came with the drying. It was decent. As it warmed up, the caramel smell became a caramel taste, mixed with a little bitterness.

I didn't have a full sample of the Cider, which was made with Curtis Orchard (also local) sweet cider. I did have a taste, and it seemed like it was granny smith apples, because there was the tart flavor that is common with those apples. It seemed very sparkly, like a champagne, was quite effervescent. It was more like Original Sin cider, than the regular woodchuck's or strongbow. It was close to the Granny Smith Woodchuck.

All in all, it was... ok. The beers were... just ok. They weren't great, they weren't horrible. They were just... beer. The hefe was my favorite of them, but that's not saying that much. The Blind Pig Brewery has Konig Ludwig on tap, I would drink that before I had this one again. They've got Port Wipeout IPA on tap, I'd have that before the house IPA. They don't have another Kolsch on, so if I were in the mood for a Kolsch, I'd go to the Blind Pig Brewery. They are the only place in town that has Kolsch on tap, so if I wanted a Kolsch, I'd go there. I'm not sure I've ever said "You know, I really want a Kolsch".

Destihl is set to open in about 6 months. Blind Pig beat them to market, but still has some work to do. At the Urbana Beer and Chili Cookoff, Destihl showed off some of their beers, their line was the longest of the day, and their beers were some of the best ones there. If Blind Pig doesn't get better quick, they are going to be put out of business. Destihl isn't the greatest brewpub in Illinois (I'd pick Flossmoor) but their's are better than the ones I had yesterday. I will go back to the Piglet for their other beers, but unless their beers get better, it won't be my first choice in town.

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