Mad Men is one of the greatest shows in the history of television. It is meticulously put together. Every stitch of clothing, every piece of furniture, every syllable uttered by an actor was specifically chosen to evoke everything that was in creator Matt Weiner’s head. My favorite part of the show was how characters got an ending but not the mythical literary closure. It was as well-crafted a piece of art as you will ever experience, and I didn’t really like it. That is not quite true. I liked it well enough, but I appreciated the craft behind it more. I respect the hell out of Weiner’s genius and what and everyone who worked on that show achieved.
What does this have to do with a beer review? In a word, everything.
Mother Earth Brewing and Trophy Brewing have gotten together to create a sticke altbier collaboration, Golden Globe. The Globe pours a nice clear copper color in the glass. It produces a full off-white head that stays around for a while. The aroma is a good sweet bready malt with suggestions of fruit, maybe a little orange and a little raisin. There is also a little floral/herbal hop aroma.
It has a nice easy feel on the tongue and just enough hop bitterness to make you want to take your next sip. The bready and sweet malt taste morphs into an easy drinking caramel sweetness. This is the exact beer you should give a friend who has only ever drank big beer lagers and pilsners. It is easy to drink and easy to like. It is a well-crafted beer.
Having said all that, this is not the beer for me. German style beers rarely are. They are usually a little too clear and crisp and easy drinking, when done well. The lagering process often eliminates some of the messiness I like.
Occasionally you should have to wrestle with a beer. Like life and art, a beer should be a little messy, a little difficult. Not that there should be problems with it, but the key to it should not just be how well-crafted it is. It should also be in how complex the tastes and aromas are and how there are many things going on with it all at once.
I will freely admit to the possibility that my prejudice against German styles could blind me to the complexities of Golden Globe, yet I still recommend this beer because it is so well-crafted. Like with Mad Men I appreciate the skill and care that went into Golden Globe and the achievement of a beer this well made even if it isn’t my kind of beer.