Poking around the Tyranena website
I see that they no longer offer Stone Teepee Pale Ale. That's too bad because that label used to make me laugh. You see, at a previous job there was an historic preservationist who would get exasperated with people who brought up the subject of the supposed stone pyramids underneath the waters of Rock Lake over in Lake Mills, home of Tyranena. He'd get calls from "researchers" wielding "proof" that the mounds of stones were man-made and aligned with the sidereal movement of the heavens. These calls were in addition to ones such as the time someone phoned him up to breathlessly relate how she saw "spirit orbs" rising up from some Native American effigy mounds.
So, just to get his goat, I'd ask him about the pyramids. If he was in a good mood, I'd get a pair of rolling eyes and a moderately curt, "Shut up." And if he were in a bad mood, I'd get, "There are no pyramids. They are just piles of rocks!"
Tyranena is something of an underrated brewery, in my opinion. I think it enjoys a good reputation generally but doesn't seem to have an "it" beer. Honestly, I am surprised that Bitter Woman never became the official state IPA. It came out in – what? - 2002? Scurvy, an IPA with orange zest, predates the current citrus IPA trend by a few years, if not more. And Rocky's Revenge? They were barrel aging back in 2004, long before it became de rigeur. It's like brewmaster Rob Larson is so ahead of the curve that he's behind it now.
, Tyranena's Oktoberfest, is a "limited seasonal" and is only available in Wisconsin. It complements the brewery's other autumn seasonal, Painted Ladies
, a pumpkin spice ale which is apparently not limited. Perhaps the brewery has only a limited amount of space to dedicate to lagering.
Gemutlichkeit is a burnished gold color and as clear as day. This puts it in the camp of the newer, paler Wiesn style. Sadly, I managed to pour the bier and basically produce no head. My inability to simply create foam was astounding. All I could manage was a white film atop the bier that doesn't even count. There was a smattering of bubbles in the brew itself.
Dinner was on the stove when I drank my bottle of Gemutlichkeit so it's possible that my nose was skewed here. My caveat aside, I smelled grain which was not sweet but more bready as well as some hops that were grassy-floral. The recipe calls for both Liberty and Tettnanger hops but I'm not sure which one contributes more to the aroma. I think of the latter as being like spicy, almost like black pepper so I am going to guess it's the Liberty here.
Those Tettanager hops made themselves known in the taste, however, which had a distinct bit of pepper to it. The malt tastes here were of bread as well as biscuit and some sweetness too which had both toffee and honey flavors. Carbonation was firm, though not big while the medium light body leaned more towards medium and was clean'n'lagery.
For the finish the malt flavors found themselves gently swept aside as the spicy/peppery hop flavor came through. Overall it was not very dry or bitter but there was just enough hop to chase away the lingering malt sweetness. Curiously, there was no Schaumhaftvermoegen
to be had.
It had been several years since I'd drank a Gemutlichkeit and I enjoyed it as much now as I did then. Honestly, I was strongly reminded of Elliot Ness by Great Lakes with the peppery taste. There is a nice bready flavor to be had here, though not a strong Maillard toastiness, but it is subtle with the malt sweetness over shadowing it. This is not to say that Gemutlichkeit is very sweet, but I would have liked a bit more of that bread flavor so as to give the sweet taste a run for its money. I really liked the peppery hop flavor, though, and how it remained steadfast throughout.
Junk food pairing: My Gemutlichkeit went well with some Cape Cod Smoked Gouda potato chips as well as a handful of pretzel sticks.
Labels: Beer, Märzen, Oktoberfest, Tyranena Brewing Co