Can you believe it’s been SIX YEARS since I started Belt’s Beer Garden??? Just look at how far we’ve come since the very first beer reviews back on October 10th, 2014!
Carter and Norm (who frequently helped me with reviews early on) might have moved on from Hustle Belt but my love of trying and writing about beer has stayed strong. And today, as we inch nearer to the 600th beer review (this is #556), I bring you a perfect fall/morning beer from Wolf’s Ridge.
Wolf’s Ridge Brewing was founded in 2013 in the heart of Buckeye Country - Columbus, Ohio. But, if you can’t make it to the brewery, you can order online and they’ll ship it to most of the big cities in the state.
And what’s really cool is they offer a “build your own 6-pack” on their website, which allows you to choose from all their canned options (31 different choices as of 9/21)...and that is something I’ve always said more breweries needed to do!
I was able to grab a can of their Cinnamon Toast Brunch, from their Clear Sky Series, to share with y’all today.
Cinnamon Toast Brunch is a modified version of their Daybreak cream ale. They took their Daybreak base, which already includes coffee and vanilla, and then added copious amounts of cinnamon to it to create a perfect beer for mornings/brunch. A four-pack of 16-ounce cans costs $17 and each pint has a modest 5% ABV and 14 IBU.
This Cream Ale poured a somewhat translucent golden straw color with minimal head. There was never any more than half a finger of thin, off-white foam as, almost immediately, it would fizzle down to a razor thin layer atop the beer.
The aroma was a mixture of coffee, vanilla, and beer. The cinnamon wasn’t too noticeable in the smell as the bitter coffee and sweet vanilla popped the most with the traditional cream ale aroma of flaked malts backing up the additives.
My first sip started with a flash of carbonation before my taste buds became confused for a moment. I knew this was a beer but, for the first few seconds, all I tasted was cold brew coffee...that bitter twinge of java replacing the normal hoppy bite I’m used to in my beers.
That initial sip was literally all coffee and it wasn’t until sips two and three that the other flavors began to come forward. The cinnamon, despite not being present in the smell, began to peek through the espresso flavor and added that nice spice.
It wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting as the vanilla was really muted by the coffee and cinnamon. There were a few swigs where that creamy sweetness really popped and mixed with the other flavors nicely but for the most part, the coffee controlled the flavors.
The beer ended with just a touch of dryness and a lingering coffee aftertaste that included some mild bitterness sitting down at the back of my tongue.
Cinnamon Toast Brunch was a really light and easy drinking Cream Ale. Although, for me, the coffee muted the other flavors just a bit too much. I would have liked to see more of the cinnamon and vanilla to really have that snickerdoodle cookie taste. But, if you’re a fan of coffee and beer, you’ll love this one.
Just wish those sweeter components had done more to cut into the coffee.