Beer of the Week: Lakefront Brewery Bridge Burner

By Iron Chef Leftovers

Lakefront Brewery is a brewery out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin that has been around since 1987, but their beers are just starting to show up in Seattle. The Lakefront website describes Bridge Burner as:

The assertive aroma is dominated by dry, earthy American hops: citrus, floral and pine tree notes all make a showing. The hops dominate, lending a hefty bitterness to the palate, but are backed up by the caramel malts, which lend a substantial body without any extra sweetness. A warm alcohol burn finishes it off with a nod to its considerable 8.0% ABV. 2009 Los Angeles County Fair gold medal barley wine winner.

This brew needs a big, rich, flavorful meal to stand up to its intensity. Try it with the traditional German fare our Milwaukee ancestors would have loved, or serve it with BBQ or hamburgers.

Let me be honest about this beer, I am pretty sure what the good folks in Milwaukee consider dominating hops, barely registered to the group of beer drinkers in Seattle I tasted this beer with. I really found this beer to be thin, flaccid and not even close to anything resembling a barley wine.

The beer poured dark amber, like an iced tea. Lots of malt with a hint of hops on the nose, but a bit flat on the initial sip. There is a big malt hit on the palate with some sweetness, followed by a small amount of hoppiness which faded quickly – there was no real note of citrus, floral or resin in this beer. After a few sips, there is a bit of lingering hoppiness at the end, but it is barely noticeable and not something I would describe as a pleasant finish of hops. The hops begin to disappear as the beer warms and it is just a single note of sweet malt with no other dimensions – it made me think this is what scotch ale might taste like if the brewer did not know what they were doing. On the bright side, there was no excessive alcohol on either the nose or the palate despite the beer’s 8% ABV.

Overall it was a forgettable drinking experience, easily one of the less memorable beers that I have had in a long time.

Lakefront Brewery’s Bridge Burner garners a rickety 1 foot bridge out of 5.

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