It started out to be a bit of a challenging day, but it’s ending pretty good. We bought a new car today – a Toyota Highlander – and took the new car out to dinner to celebrate. We went to CJ’s to get some good deep dish pizza, and I was shocked to see this beer… on draft. Apparently they were having an Oktoberfest in January celebration, so they had this and German food on the menu. I also love that it was served in an branded glass as well.
Location: On tap and served in a branded wheat beer glass at CJ’s Restaurant in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 5% ABV, 12.8° Plato, ~130 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s sort of a dark mahogany, dark brown color and very clear. The head is thick, tan, and foamy with great retention and lacing. There’s a caramel-wheat and dark bread aroma with a bit of a lager-like tinge.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium and the mouthfeel is smooth and slightly creamy from the head. The flavor up front is like a dark bread with not much sweetness. In the middle, the dark bready grows with some caramel and dark wheaty flavors. These flavors peak in the finish with the dark breadiness and bit of caramel covering a in back slight earthy bitterness in background. The aftertaste is the dark bread and wheat with a bit of caramel that lasts for a minute or two
Food Pairing: As you can tell, this beer has a good amount of dark bread flavors with only a bit of caramel-like sweetness. It went good with my pizza, but I think the breadiness would be great to counteract spicy foods like Italian sausage or wings. For complementary flavors, it would add a nice Austrian/German authenticity, and slightly different dimension to schnitzel or wurst dishes.
Overall Impression: There was a fair amount of dark breadiness and wheat maltiness with a bit of caramel and earthy bitterness in the finish. The flavors were smooth and very drinkable, but ended up being a bit plain with a mild amount of complexity. It would certainly be easy to drink a liter of this beer, and it left me craving a hearty German dish instead of my pizza. Overall, it was a good drinkable beer that I’d definitely enjoy with a Austrian/German meal, but probably wouldn’t seek out a bottle.