Headless Man Amber AltSeptember 1, 2009 Lake Mills, WI
Tyranena Brewing Co
Lake Mills, WI
Available: WI, IL, MN
The ancient peoples that inhabited Wisconsin are known for their stone monuments and earthen effigy mounds. Unfortunately, most of these structures have fallen victim to the farmer’s plow over the past 150 years. Not far from the brewery, lying preserved on the floor of Rock Lake, are two effigy mounds: a headless man and a turtle. Legend holds, as the turtle can survive on both land and in water, its spirit helped guide the headless man into the afterlife.
Original gravity: 1048
The label speaks of a “cold-lagering process,” which may worry drinkers expecting a Düsseldorf-style alt. But lager means “store” and alt beers are cold-conditioned before release and are without doubt members of the ale family. This pale copper beer has a pungent, floral and herbal hop aroma with a rich, slightly toasted malt balance and a hint of berry fruits. There’s toasted malt dryness in the mouth, balanced by a spicy and resinous hop note, gentle bitterness and a hint of sultana fruit. The finish is dry, with light hop bitterness, a hint of spice, toasted malt and dark fruit. Wonderfully refreshing: in Düsseldorf they drink this beer in large quantities from small glasses as the companion for plates of pork knuckle. Drinkers tend to get legless rather than headless but there’s always something new in the world of beer.
- Roger Protz
The beer pours with a full honey color and forms a small restrained head. The aromatics are faint―just light biscuit malts and hint of fruit. The palate is light-bodied and brisk, with caramel and toasted malts through the center, balanced by gentle hopping. The finish is clean and dry, leaving a lingering biscuit glow. While this lacks the hoppy zing of its German ancestors, this beer is quite nicely made and very drinkable, an everyday beer to have in your fridge. It will be very good with your grilled burgers over the summer.
- Garrett Oliver
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
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