Beer of the Week: 10 Barrel Swill Beer

By Iron Chef Leftovers

Sometimes with all of the new breweries and beers on the market, it is easy to lose track and miss out on a good brewery. Relative newcomer, 10 Barrel Brewing out of Bend, Oregon, is one of those that I can’t believe that this is the first review of one of their beers I am posting.  They have a nice lineup of beers that are available in bottles at most good bottle shops in Seattle.  I was lucky enough to take a crack at their Swill, a Grapefruit Radler, on tap at a visit to Chuck’s Hop Shop this summer. In case you are not familiar with what a radler is, the internet can help you. From the Germanbeerinstitue.com website:

What does a German drink, when he or she wants a low-alcohol beer, but does not want to resort to a “light” brew? Radlermass or Alsterwasser (its northern German name) to the rescue — a beverage that is a half-and-half mix of blond lager (usually Pils or Helles) and lemonade. This drink originated in Bavaria in the early 20th century, but it is now bottled and canned premixed and available in all of Germany. However, it generally does not make its way across the sea to North America.

untitlwewqeedI don’t know exactly how this was done by 10 Barrel, but I assume that the beer was brewed and some percentage of grapefruit juice was added to the beer to make it a radler.

The beer pours hazy yellow in color with a nice white head with notes of grapefruit and grain and hints of citrus peel on the nose. The first sip yields a slight sweetness before changing direction with a slight tartness before moving onto a significant grapefruit presence – making the beer feel more like a grapefruit cocktail than a beer, before finishing with bitter peel, grain and lemon in a short finish. The balance of this beer was way off and the flavors felt like they weren’t integrated and the beer became much sweeter as it warmed, throwing the balance further off. I found myself wanting more hops and less grapefruit to try to cut some of that sweetness. Unfortunately, this was pretty much everything I dislike about grapefruit beers.

10 Barrel Swill Beer fails to make it to the finish line with a less than stellar 2 flat tires out of 5.

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