Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 76, Gluten Free Week ends with Redbridge by AB

Wow, what an anticlimatic end to Gluten Free Week!  But before I get into that, I wan't to talk about the magic number 76.  76 has a lot of meaning for Philadelphia historically as you may know, but also the inhabitants 200 years later gave it even more meaning with one of the coolest celebrations that this city has ever seen!  It was truly a magic time for a kid to grow up.  Philly was really cool.  It was truly a city of neighborhoods.  Everyone knew each other and the economy was still flourishing.  People were painting liberty bells in the streets and the police encouraged it.  Sports teams in Philly were doing great and the July 4th celebration for the bicentennial was awesome with a parade of tall ships on the Delaware River.  The 70's in general were a cool time, but 1976 was the the height of it.  Philly is a great place to live!

So today is the big St. Paddy's day celebration.  It's a huge thing here in Philly that lasts through 4 weekends.  It's really overkill and kind of sloppy.  I'm part Irish, but am not a fan of the celebration.  In fact, I worked very hard on board Gazela today and am paying for it physically as I write this.  This may be the most difficult one to write so far.  One other time was worse.  I take that back.  But anyway,  there is nothing that I would rather do than to go to Gazela and learn and be with good folk who have nothing but good vibes.  It is so refreshing from the rest of the work week.  Thank you Gazela for being truly a one of a kind place for anyone who wants to go and learn seafaring.  You truly bring back that spirit of 1976 that I was so lucky to witness as a lad!  And thank you Philadelphia for realizing what she has to offer.  No where else in the world has a Gazela!

So tonight with some of my mates I went to the Memphis Taproom after work and I discovered Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing Company.  It's an Imperial IPA or an Amerian Double.  Basically double the ingredients are used to make it higher alcohol and higher flavor.  I loved it.  I can't say too much about it in detail because it's been a few hours since but I will say that it is world class for a reason!

Now onto a lesser "beer" Redbridge by AB.  
The bottle looks nice.  I like the label, but it's a useless screw top.

It pours a clear thin amber colour with very little head that disappears pretty quick and leaves no lacing.

The aroma is almost medicinal and apple-like with some caramel sweet base to it with notes of fresh white bread.  I can't get past the medicinal hint up front.

The taste is basically like a thin apple cider with some of that sorghum flavor that tastes a bit like licking an orange peel.  There is a black peppery finish with some decent dryness.

Mouthfeel is thin with that familiar sorghum slimy feel on the tongue.  It's overly carbonated and I think that lends to the medicine like smell and feel to this beer.  It almost smells like when you open up a fresh band-aid or use that topical antiseptic Mercurochrome?  Iodine maybe.  Mixed with lysol.  It's just not that good.  After a Pliny the Elder I don't even want to drink this to tell the truth.  I'm being hard on it though as I do believe that I have had one worse from New Planet.

Overall, average for a Gluten Free.  If you class it with real ambers like they have it on Beer Advocate it would be pure sh!t.  I'd only give it a 2 tops.  But for a Gluten Free, a 3 out of 5.

Hey, it was worth a shot.  I had it before and wasn't expecting much.  It's a lot better paired up with a gluten free pizza from Uno's!  Don't be afraid to try something new.  Life is too short for those crappy beers!


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