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Belt's Beer Garden: Older and weiz-er (well, older at least)

This week we've got some beer that should help you become a more educated beer fan.

Norm and I know that education is important. That's why this week he went with a weiz-er beer and I went with something we all hope to avoid becoming. Up first, his hefeweizen from Michigan.

sun spot


There are many beer styles I love for either their flavor or their body or their aroma. But there's only one style I love just because it's fun to say. Hefeweizen. You maybe just felt a touch German yourself as you read it. Hefeweizen. Angenehm zu sprechen.

These beers are also pleasant to drink. While not one of my favorites, they're still really good from time to time. Heavy with wheat and yeast, they have more richness to them then say a Belgian witbier. The hefeweizen I'm recommending this week is Sunspot, by Greenbush Brewing Co., Sawyer, Michigan. It's only $9.99 for a six-pack of bottles with an ABV of 6%.

Sunspot was surprisingly dark when poured into a pint glass. It's a murky, cloudy orange, but deeper in tone than I would have expected. Plenty of foamy head that left continual lacing in my glass. The carbonation was abundant as well.

The aroma was a bit biscuity, with notes of banana and wheat. A touch of spice can be detected too.

The taste of Sunspot was fairly good. Plenty of yeast and dank wheatness. Banana and breadiness come together, so I'll just say banana bread flavor. Spices finish it off, mainly clove. This beer has a pretty nice balance and nothing was overwhelming on the tongue.

While it's not in my top five styles of beer, this hefeweizen was very enjoyable and I'm going to give it a sieben/zehn(7/10). Genießen.

7 beers 2

Dave: Since Norm did a weize beer, I decided to explore the opposite side of that. My west coast beer is what we all want to avoid being called.

idiot ipa

Coronado is yet another brewery out of San Diego...well technically it's from Coronado, California (basically a suburb of San Diego). They began back in 1996 and have an affinity for making bold, hoppy, West Coast ales. They began locally distributing beers in 2003 but it wasn't until 2010 that people outside of California could find them. Today they are available in 13 states (including the MAClands of Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio).

As this is a West Coast IIPA, you know there are a ton of hops loaded inside this small bottle. They used a generous amount of the Four C's of hops (Centennial, Chinook, Cascade, and Columbus) and then also added Nugget hops for good measure. And with all those hops it's no surprise that it brings a rating of 90 IBU with it...so I can imagine it'll be pretty bitter and super hoppy.

Idiot IPA pours a hazy golden color and is topped by finger of cloudy white foam. The pine smell of the Chinook and Columbus hops are rather predominant but there is also a sweeter aroma from the malts and other hops hidden behind the pine.

On my first sip, the malt and pine hit me upfront along with a bready flavor that didn't last terribly long. On the backend of the sip, a brown sugar like sweetness followed that up. As expected, there is a serious bitterness from all those hops but nothing terribly harsh.

As I drank the lacing around my glass became less and less but the flavors became more and more complex. There was a citrus-like burst about half way through (that didn't last too long) but it really cut into the piney flavor - the Cascade and Centennial hops showing themselves here. And then soon enough, it was more of the caramel taste.

Regardless of what flavor profile I was currently getting, the beer was super smooth and quite enjoyable. And at 8.5% ABV, it's no slouch in the alcohol department - it does hide the boozy taste really well.

Overall, Idiot IPA drinks more like a regular West Coast IPA than an Imperial IPA. It's a very easy to drink beer with a nice, complex flavor, and the bitterness is not too sharp nor does it last too long after each sip. Plus the price isn't too bad either, at $9.99 for a four-pack. 7.5/10

7.5