Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snake in the Grass

Back in August, I found myself in a strange liquor store looking for something new. That's when I spotted a few beers called Tallgrass, which was apparently a new brewery out of Manhattan, KS...home of my alma mater. That was enough to peak my interest and I decided to try their Ale. As I was pulling it out of the cooler, one of the employees starting talking about it and said it wasn't too bad. He slightly recommended the ale, but said he wasn't sure about the wheat which he had on a drunken night and thought it tasted like hot dogs. Well, that was more than enough to rope me into buying both...

The ale? Not bad. The wheat? Seriously tastes like hot dog water. Like you took the juice out of a package of hot dogs and mixed it with your drink. It might be one of the worst beers I've had in my life. I thought maybe I got a bad batch, so I made sure to try it when I was at this year's KC Beerfest. Just as bad on tap.

On a trip the liquor store this weekend, I happened upon a new color in the Tallgrass section. They've got a fresh new green box to go with their new IPA offering. I'm a fool for a decent IPA, so I went ahead and picked up some. That night I went home and had a wide variety of beers from New Belgium Giddy Up (now available in bottles in the Folly Pack) to Boulevard's Sixth Glass and BBQ. The Tallgrass IPA was the last of the beers I tried that night, and I completely loved it. I ended up cracking open three of them before heading to bed, excited about being able to write a glowing review for Tallgrass.

After I took the above photo, I cracked the bottle open to confirm the previous night's exploits. The other two bottles remain in the fridge this night. I can only assume on that first night, I fell victim to the drinker's blessing/curse of things tasting better the more you toss back. Their packaging is good and the bottle labeling looks stellar IMO, but when it comes to that taste of all of the offerings, the bad traits just seem to linger in my mouth. While I wouldn't call it a bad beer, I would hesitate before buying it again compared to other offerings in the market.

The Tallgrass website touts the IPA as "the first IPA brewed, bottled, and on tap in the Great Plains region." Congrats on beating Boulevard's Single-Wide out to market by a few months. When it comes to comparing the taste of the two, Tallgrass may have benefited from the extra development.


rubigimlet said...

as coincidence would have it, my brother brought over a pack of the Tallgrass IPA on Christmas Eve to share with my hubbie -- who had previously enjoyed crowdplease status by sharing some BBQ Sixth Glass with the crew. We are not IPA drinkers in this house but this selection went over like ... like hot dog water on a hot summer's day. Or something like that. We enjoyed it. I would buy it myself -- and that's saying something.

Anonymous said...

you beat me to the punch, hon.
as my better half said, IPA is my least favorite beer style, but that Tallgrass is one refreshing and tastefully done treat.

ah, and the beer i shared with the in-laws: Saison-Brett (which is a miracle beer).

HomeBrewHawk said...

I picked up a six pack tonight. It's a pretty tasty IPA. It won't replace Bell's Two Hearted or Bear Republic Racer 5 as my favorite IPAs, but it's not in that league of hoppiness. It's very drinkable.

I liked the Ale. I haven't tried the Wheat. I'm more of a hefe or wit type of guy when it comes to wheat beers. Someone told me that you should drink the Tallgrass brews as fresh as possible. He felt they went downhill quickly.

Chimpotle said...

Hawk- That might explain the "please refrigerate" on the box. The last time I recall seeing that was on a bottle of Night Train.

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