Friday, January 21, 2011

Rising Tide's Ursa Minor--Weizen Stout

The fourth beer to get reviewed in the blog was a surprise selection. I was scooting through a local health food store--Lois' in Scarborough-- (truth be told I was actually there with the little duo to buy the soon to be 3 year old a cookie) when I couldn't help but peruse their "healthy" beer case.  Given that I had zero time for this perusal, I quickly grabbed at the singleton beers and pulled out of the case an Ursa Minor Weizen Stout.  Since I am a stout fan, the cool name was irrelevant, I just went with my gut knowing that sipping a stout sounded great.  Lucky for me and for you, the brew proved to be a wise choice. 

Later that day, I was able to do a little research and found out that the Ursa Minor Weizen Stout is from the newest brewery to open in Portland, Maine. The Rising Tide Brewing Company described as, "a family-owned craft brewery, specializing in artisanal, hand-crafted ales brewed in small batches (90 gallons at a time) in a one-barrel brewhouse."  According to the bottle, the Ursa Minor is Rising Tide's version of a winter wheat beer that is, "perfect for an icy winter's eve." It has a,"German wheat-beer yeast and a base of malted wheat, along with a blend of dark crystal and roasted malts to create a wheat stout."

Even though, I am a big stout fan, I really didn't know what I was drinking, so by definition:
  • Stout beer is a dark, sometimes bitter beer that was first commercially produced in the 1730s.
  • Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters, typically containing 7% or 8% alcohol.
  • The first stouts were from Ireland, where Guinness is produced.
  • Stout beer is composed of barley and varied types of malt resulting in large variety of stouts.
  • Variations include: Dry/Irish, Imperial, Milk, Oatmeal, Chocolate, Coffee and Oyster.

Taste: A nice mixture of strong nutty flavors blended with brief encounters of chocolate.
*This beer was an excellent complement to our pulled pork slow cooker meal! If you are familiar with The Dinosaur BBQ restaurant & sauces, you won't be disappointed with the outcome of this dish!
Color: very dark brown like a bold cup of coffee
Thickness:  not thick, actually light with an airy quality to the body due to the wheat
Will it help me sleep better?  Oh yes, with a 6.7% ABV, I was toasty which served as a nice escape from the bitterly cold & snowy weather conditions outside-ah January in Maine!
Mom factoid: When it's time to introduce your little people to the galaxy be sure to share with them that Ursa Minor is Latin for Smaller Bear when contrasted to Ursa Major. It is a constellation in the Northern sky.  It is notable due to its location at the North Celestial Pole.

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