Saturday, August 4, 2012

037. Karbach Sympathy For The Lager

One of the great things about living in the fourth largest city in the United States is that there's a lot of stuff to do here. Festivals, museums, the Rodeo... and of course, there are several micro and craft breweries in town or nearby. When the weather cools down, I'm going to do a few tours and -- of course -- I'll share the photos and fun with you.

In the meantime, though, it's just too danged hot to go moseying around town. Which is why I'm kicking back right now with a tall mug of a new (to me, at least) Houstonian beer: Karbach Brewing Co.'s Sympathy for the Lager.

As you know (and has become apparent to me), my tastes tend to run lighter when it's warmer (and right now it's just downright hot). That's why I'm happy to say that this local lager doesn't lag in delivering light libations. In other (non-alliterative) words: This stuff ain't too shabby.

Pour me another one (and another)...
As you can see from the photo, I broke out the big mug tonight. I poured one 12-ounce can (yup, it's sold in aluminum, which I guess makes it A-OK for your cooler to reach the beach) into the mug and it looked kinda empty... so I poured in another can. Why not? I'm staying home tonight.

The aroma from the can was mostly malt, but when I took another sniff from the mug I got a faint whiff of hops. The first thing I noticed was the color: this is very brown and simple looking. There's something solid and workmanlike about the color. It just looks like BEER.  I do see a hint of yellow in it, which helps make it more inviting.

The head came alive under a moderately aggressive pour; it was a very thick white that reminded me of a fresh muffin. The muffin notion was further advanced by the hint of yeast that sat atop the hops. But it was definitely the sweet malt that carried the day.

The 4.9% alcohol content and lighter, slightly sweet taste (yeah, there are some hops hiding there, but they're not as harsh as the bitch-slapping kind loved by the hops whores) definitely make this something I can enjoy on these hot Summer Nights.

WHERE TO BUY: I bought this at a Kroger's in NW Houston for $7.99 a six-pack.

Kroger's had a nice selection of
Karbach Beers

Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover 
(but DO judge a beer by its can)
45's were cool. The very first one I ever bought
was Bonnie Tyler's "It's a Heartache."
I really like the packaging on this can, even though it's just three colors: black & white & red (but not all over). Its got a simple classic design of alternating red and "open" areas that let the can's silver show through: the name appears in a big black disc that is reminiscent of an old vinyl record (it's got a hole in the middle of the black disc).

There is also a graphic element on the side of the can that is instantly familiar to anyone of a certain age that still recalls 45 RPM records. Yup, this is "old school" stuff to you young'uns. That graphic element is the adapter used to play 45's on your regular stereo record player.

All this music reference is apropriate, of course, because the brew's name is a riff on the uber-classic Rolling Stone's song, Sympathy for the Devil. And this killer can even has a really good parody of the song's lyrics on its side.

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a beer of damn fine taste
I've been around for a long, long time
Many brewers have ruined my name

I've watched now for several decades
As my character has been disgraced
But now the boys down on Karbach Street
Have gone and made me first rate

Full of fine malt and German hops
My taste is both clean and bold
And though my flavor always stands up
I'm best when enjoyed cold

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Show some sympathy
Enjoy my taste

This is a nice beer from a local brewery (heck, from any brewery) and I would definitely drink this any time the heat gets so hot that the Devil himself would feel at home.

Thoughts from the bottom of the glass:

Type: Lager
Color: Cloudy yellow/brown
Aroma: Mostly malt
Hops: Understated
Malt: Full bodied, nice presence in the mouth
Head: Thick like a white muffin
Lace: Medium/Heavy
Carbonation: Medium/Heavy
Temprature Sweet Spot: Drink cold (38-40 degrees)
ABV: 4.9%
My Summer Rating: 7 out of 10
My Normal Rating: 6 out of 10

Other Reviews Worth a Sip:

The Rate Beer guys seemed to detect more pepper than I did. Maybe it's released at a greater temperature? I dunno:

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