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Belt's Beer Garden: I just need some space

I found two spaced themed beers this week...they're out of this world! (Man, that was lame)

This week I was by myself again so I decided to have another theme tasting. This week: space. Why? Because I can.

First up, is a beer named after Earth's closest neighbor: Marz Community Brewing.

ruby's tears

One of the benefits to living near Chicago is that there is always new beer to be discovered and tried. This week I've found a very new company that I've never had before - Marz Community Brewing. Located a few blocks from U.S. Cellular Field, Marz began just last year. I don't know if they are available anywhere but Chicago and its suburbs just yet, but you can find out more about them here.

Ruby's Tears is a gose beer, which means it's made with 50-60% malted wheat, and that also explains it's sour, wheat-like smell. When poured, it is a cloudy reddish orange color with very little head topping it.

When sipped it has a crisp, sharp sourness to it. But complimenting the early tart flavor is that of grapefruit, coriander and a hint of saltiness. I know that combination doesn't necessarily sound good but I can promise you it is.

The tartness you get in the beginning doesn't last too long and fades nicely into a smooth, easy finish. There is very little in the way of an aftertaste but, the best way I can think to describe this one is, the felling you get after you've eaten Warheads (remember those!), which brings me back to the good ol' days.

I thought the beer would be rather dry like most of the goses I've tried. But this one is not dry at all. It's just sweeter and tarter than I was expecting...which doesn't go away the more you drink.

At 5.1% ABV it is stronger than most gose beers, which are usually under 5%. And although Ruby's Tears won't hit you too hard in its alcohol content, your wallet might take a hit. It'll set you back $7.99 for the 500 mL (16.9 ounces) bottle.

For its style, it's very tasty and quite refreshing. Ruby's Tears is a great summer beer and I can't wait to try more of Marz's beers. If only it was a tad bit cheaper. 8/10

8 beers

Next I traveled a little further out for one of Bell's limited releases.


Bell's is possibly the biggest thing to come out of Michigan without the Ford emblem glued to it. As any WMU fan can tell you, they are located in Kalamazoo but, in 2003, they expanded to another location in nearby Comstock, where the majority of their beers are bottled today. Bell's is available in pretty much every state east of the Mississippi River but only five west of it (Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Dakota).

Saturn is aged in old oak bourbon barrels, and you can tell. As soon as I poured it, the all-too-familiar smell of whiskey filled the air. But that smell only lasted a few moments until it dissipated into a more traditional barleywine aroma, featuring toffee, caramel, and a small amount of vanilla. The cloudy dark orange, almost brown, beer was topped off with just the slightest bit of head.

As soon as I sipped it, the taste confirmed the smell, as there was plenty of caramel and toffee up front with a nice sweetness to it. However, the ending isn't as kind. As it has been aged in bourbon barrels, and is 11.5% ABV, there is a definite alcohol burn that comes with every sip and the bourbon flavor comes out too. Luckily, the burn is quick and lasts just a few seconds - better than some beers I've encountered.

Any fan of the bourbon-aged beers would surely love this one as well. It seems like every week there's a new beer infused with whiskey (or some other alcohol) and, as we've all come to know, I'm just not a fan of those types of beers. I wish I was though, but, try as I might, I can't bring myself to enjoy these types of ales.

Saturn got harder to drink the more I had of it. The sweetness decreased and the sting of alcohol became more and more present. To me, this is less barleywine and more stout-like. But that doesn't mean it's not good. Just not for me. Since this is a very limited released beer, and only costs $2.49 for a 12-ounce bottle, you should try it too and make your own decision about it. Especially if you are a fan of the barrel-aged beers. 6.5/10

6.5 beer