Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fermented #18 - Off Color Brewing's Scurry Kottbusser

I've been trying to dive into more cliche beers of summer, and summer beer postings, but the best thing I've had in the past week ended up being this rather balanced, honey-tinged reddish-brown ale, Scurry, a Kottbusser from Chicago's now only kind of new Off Color Brewing (I kid, they're new, but I think three breweries have opened in the two weeks since they put these beers out to the public). My knowledge of the Kottbusser style is admittedly brief: a beer local to the Cottbus region/city, that never really fell victim to the rather restrictive Reinheitsgebot purity law (beer can only be barley, hops, water, and later, yeast - exceptions for wheat beers, etc). The region is both German and Slavic, home to a people called the Sorbs. I'd love to find out just how long ago they started making Kottbusser as a beer, and there seems to be some minor discrepancies online as to what makes up the beer style. Barley - yes. Wheat - mentioned almost all the time. Oats - mentioned all the time. Molasses - sometimes mentioned. Honey - almost always mentioned. Extra dose of hops, of the Noble German varieties - almost always mentioned. So we've got a beer given extra doses of rich and floral sweetness from molasses and/or honey, a punch of earthy, spicy hops, and an oat-derived creaminess. There's some honey and nuttiness on the nose, plus some spice. The body isn't quite as big as it looks, let's say medium bodied and crisply, not overly carbonated. Also, because honey and molasses ferment so nicely, it ends nice and dry, hints at some toasty, nutty grains that I assume help color it, and the dryness makes it very very drinkable. In fact, as much as I've talked about a lot of the ways in which this beer hits on a lot of different flavors, it's still a subtle brew, nuanced, approachable by all, yet beholden to no one. At 5.3% ABV, you can sit down with a few before scurrying off to an Off Color sponsored gin party.

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