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Belt's Beer Garden: Drinkin' for summer

This week, I prep for warmer months with these two new brews.

I think we're all sick and tired of the cold (at least, all of us up here in the North). So I've decided to try a few beers that bring me back to those summer months...just because it's mid-March and I'm ready to wear my shorts again.

First up, from The Crossroads of America (Indiana), Farmer's Daughter from People's Brewing Co.

farmers daughter

People's Brewing Company began not too long ago (December of 2009) in Lafayette, Indiana. They have just a handful of year round beers, as well as a few seasonal brews. They are a small batch brewery that focuses on making fresh, local beers. From what I've found online, they are slowly growing and you can now find them throughout Indiana, in parts of Illinois (mostly Chicagoland), and in a few spots in Missouri and Massachusetts too.

This is sessionable pale wheat beer is one of their year round brews and features Cascade and Perle hops as well as the addition of lemongrass.

When I poured Farmer's Daughter into my glass, it was a golden straw color with minimal head - it maybe hit a finger before quickly fizzing out into just a dusting across the top of the glass.

It has an interesting aroma to it, to say the least. The malted wheat mixed with the lemongrass creates this funky, yet sweet, aroma with hints of spices and some hop backing to it.

On my first sip, I was surprised how smooth the beer was. I was expecting more of the wheat qualities to it but instead the lemongrass rounded out the beer really well. At the start of the sip there is a nice malty tone that fades into a semi-tart, and rather sweet, citrus ending.

The flavors are nice; however, it felt kind of watery...like it was missing something. Maybe it was that the hops were barely noticeable on the tongue (at 17 IBU, I kind of figured they would be) and so were the spices I detected in the smell. Or maybe it was because there was very little carbonation to this beer.

Not too sure what made it seem slightly watered down...but either way this was a very decent, very sessionable beer that just seemed to be missing one thing to make it really stand out.

Farmer's Daughter packs just 4.2% ABV to it so it's not too boozy. And, at $9.99 for a six-pack of cans, it's not over priced either.

Would I drink this beer again? Absolutely. I bet it would be great at a barbeque this summer. But am I going to seek it out? Probably not.

It's good, just not great. 7.5/10

7.5

Secondly, I head out to Oregon for some candy.

stumptown

BridgePort is Oregon's oldest craft brewery, opening up way back in 1984. They are probably most known for their Hop Czar double IPA. As of right now, they are available in 18 states (including, but not limited to, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Virginia).

Stumptown Candy Peel is made with Centennial, Crystal, and Styrian Golding hops as well as orange peel. It pours a darker amber color with a thin layer of hazy white head that's maybe half of a finger high. The head fizzes down pretty quickly into just a dusting across the top of the beer.

The aroma consists of a strong, sticky-sweet orange/tangerine scent with a decent amount of bready malts backing up the citrus. You can also pick up on some of the hops hiding behind the malts and fruit, but mostly this smelled of sweet oranges and bready malts.

My first sip was not quite as expected.

Up front you get a huge dose of nice, sweet citrus juices with a slight malt presence, as the smell would indicate. However, the backend of the sip had a nice addition of piney/spicy hops that leave a slight tingle on your tongue (that, depending on the sip, can linger for a little bit afterwards) but certainly cut down on the sweetness and smooth things out. Stumptown is still rather sticky though and will leave your mouth quite dry at the end of each sip.

There is a surprising creamier/medium mouthfeel to the brew and some decent carbonation. It has pretty decent lacing around the glass; it won't make a clear mark after each sip but there are some nice lines that merge into each other as the bubbles slide down the glass.

At 6.5% ABV, this beer is no slouch (although it won't knock you down either). The booze is well hidden inside all that sweet orange flavoring and maltiness and is not noticeable at all.

Overall, it's a pretty drinkable beer, nothing too bitter (despite the 65 IBU) or too malty. My main problem is how dry and sticky it left my mouth after each taste. But the flavors are nice and the price is certainly not overwhelming either - a six-pack of 12 ounce bottles will run you about $8.99. Like Farmer's Daughter, it's probably best on those hot summer days. 7.5/10

7.5