Beer Review: Lakefront Brewery Inc. Fixed Gear Red IPA

Recently, I visited Green bay, WI to meet some long-time online friends. We know one another as fellow crazy bird people from Instagram and Facebook and, kind of on a whim, I bought a plan ticket to go and meet them for the first time. Adventure! It was sort of a crazy thing to do, meeting strangers from the internet, but they felt like longtime friends and I knew I had to try.

Silas the Senegal (left) and Pepper the Green Cheek Conure (right), along with their humans, were there to greet me.

We spent the weekend eating, playing board games, drinking beer, cooking, and going up in a Cessna over Lake Michigan. It was pretty great!

Being in a new city meant I had to try some new beers that were local and that I couldn’t get anywhere near me. Obviously. We went to a bottle shop with a massive collection of beer, lots of which I’ve never seen in my area, and I made a bee line for the Wisconsin local beer section. Lakefront Brewery Inc’s Fixed Gear Red IPA was one of the six packs that I grabbed.

This was a lovely amber color, reddish with a fluffy off-white head. It left behind some fine lacing as I drank it. It’s a very pretty beer overall. There’s not a lot of nose there. Maybe a little raisin-scented, which I often find in those higher ABV beers – which this is most definitely not. We’re talking about 6.8%. Pretty middle of the road, honestly. There’s also some notes of floral hops going on here, but nothing especially green or bright.

While playing a few rounds of The Game of Things (which is a little bit like scattegories), I dug into this beer. It’s a tad dry, but very flavorful overall. It’s sooth and slightly fruity with a little bit of a hop punch, but never too much. It’s really easy drinking. I could happily enjoy this beer all day long.

If I could ever possibly find it in Maryland, I’d buy this one again. Easily four out of five mugs for me.

Review: Fort Collins Red Banshee Amber Ale

Another beer at Root Down in the Denver Airport, Fort Collins Red Banshee Amber Ale was undeniably refreshing! I chose to kill some time during my 4 hour layover here, where I grabbed a tasty lunch and another beer before the Red Banshee. It was a nice, low-key way to spend some time in a lively, bustling airport before returning home from my amazing Portland trip.

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This beer is available year-round from Fort Collins, which is a brewery located in northern Colorado (and therefore aptly named). They offer around 50 ales and lagers both at their tavern and in bottles and cans distributed around the US. I also believe I’ve had their seasonal Oktoberfest and really enjoyed that – I’d buy it again if I found it.

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Poured by draft and into a pint glass, Red Banshee was a lovely medium red-brown color. It had a minimal light tan head, which dissipated rather quickly, and left a little bit of lacing behind. It smelled a little, for lack of a better word, vegetable-y. It also had a malty nose to it.

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It was a toasted malt, mellow, sweet red with a drier finish to it. I made a note in my phone with the word, “unremarkable.” So I guess if there’s one word I have to offer, it’s that one. I wasn’t impressed, per se, but I like it well enough. It was very drinkable when served nice and cold.

Review: Boulder Beer Company Mojo IPA

This is my second-to-last beer of my Portland trip (it was on my layover, so it only kind of counts, I guess) and it was overall a good choice, I think. I was still a little bit in beer vacation mode, so I wanted to squeeze a few more beers into my trip before coming home. It sure beats paying $12 for a tiny cocktail on the plane, as well.

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Boulder Beer Company Mojo IPA¬†was poured from a nitro draft (meaning that, in the carbonation process, nitrogen gas is used instead of the usual CO2, yielding a smoother, creamier beverage) into a pint glass. It poured an opaque, buttery yellow as the bubbles gently cascade their way up the inside of the glass. It’s really a beautiful beer. It had a pretty, cream-colored head that lasts and lasts.

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It cleared to a lovely, rich marigold color. The nose, to me, is something fruity and sweet and summery. Orange peel, perhaps. It has a light, hoppy smell. The first sip is a little resinous (in a good way) and is full of the long-lasting head. It’s a malty, citrusy, hoppy west coast stye IPA for sure! My only complaint is that is became a little too dry and bitter when it warmed up.

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I paired it up with a bahn mi turkey burger and sweet potato fries at Root Down in the Denver airport. It was also a delicious sandwich, by the way, and worked well with the moderate flavored Mojo IPA. The price was good – especially for an airport – and the burger itself was tender, moist, and not at all dried out.

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Root Down, by the way, has a cool decoration style, it’s clearly travel themed. I sat at the bar because I was dining solo and it had a glass top with suitcases and their contents frozen in time under the glass. There were clothing items, postcards, toiletries – all with a vintage travel vibe. I definitely spent a bit of time staring at the set up! I highly recommend Root Down overall, so if you find yourself in the Denver airport, definitely check it out.