Hommel BierNovember 1, 2012
Perennial Artisan Ales
St. Louis, MO
In Belgium, Hommel is the word for Humulus, the plant genus where hops reside. This beer defies tradition by combining North American malts, Pacific Northwest hops and a Belgian yeast strain. The result combines earthy and spicy tones from the yeast with a slight orange note contributed by the hops.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1052
AVAILABLE: IL, MO, NY
This beer is a mutt. And, like most mutts, it has fortunately taken on the best of both sides of its lineage. Hommel at first shows a Belgian facade, with a hazy golden glow and a frothy, off-white head that quickly dissipates to a thin layer. A first sniff would still convince you this is a Belgian beer, with a distinctively slightly tart, yet clean malt aroma. Hommel even feels Belgian—tiny bubbles dance nimbly on the tongue at first sip as sweet-tart flavors make an appearance. But then an American pale-ale hoppiness shines through with a citrusy flourish that lingers at the end.
- Lisa Morrison
Cast aside all thoughts of American pale ales with their sweet, juicy citrus notes, this excellent Belgian-inspired creation shines a light instead on the earthier herbal side of the hop. The aroma is pungent, with pine and herbs carrying through into the taste, which has a fragrant Belgian yeast character with notes suggestive of aniseed. Fluffy and well-carbonated, it also reveals a hint of orange behind all the pine and bitter herbs and then rounds off with an instantly dry finish that reminds me of Orval, which is no bad thing. It’ll make a great aperitif beer, I reckon.
- Jeff Evans
Lisa Morrison, aka The Beer Goddess, writes about beer whenever and wherever she can and also gets to talk about it on a weekly radio show in her hometown of Portland, OR.
Author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide and The Book of Beer Knowledge, Jeff Evans is an eight-time editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. More of his writing can be found at www.insidebeer.com.
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