Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Brew Kettle Copperhead Red Amber Ale

Often times, when I am in Cleveland, I visit a brewpub called the "The Brew Kettle Taproom and Smokehouse" in Strongsville, Ohio.  The Brew Kettle began as a brew on premises business, where people could brew their own batch of craft beer, using one of dozens of recipes.  I've made a couple of batches of beer at the Brew Kettle with my dad, with the last one being the East India Trading Company's Perilous Voyage Imperial Pale Ale.  We used the Brew Kettle's recipe and we were able to brew an excellent beer.

The Brew Kettle was such a success, that its owners decided to open The Brew Kettle Taproom and Smokehouse.  Guests are able to have some of the Brew Kettle's own beers, which are produced by the Brew Kettle Production Works, which operates a twenty barrel system to produce a line of beers such as the Big Woody, Erie Gold and Copperhead Red.

The American Amber Ale style gets its name from the amber hue of the beer, which is contrasted with the lighter color of other beers like pale ales.  The amber ale also contrasts with pale ales in other ways.  The amber ale is brewed in a way to achieve a balance between the malts and hops, which results in a beer that is mellower, less bitter and a smoother body than a pale ale.

The Copperhead Red is a good example of an Amber Ale.  When poured, the beer displays some reddish or amber hues, along with a good amount of carbonation.  The nose of the beer gives hints of the hops' citrusy aroma to the drinker, which is balanced by an equal hint of the two-row malts that may have been used to produce this beer. 

When drinking this beer, the malt flavors predominate up front.  The flavors of the two-row malts, along with the hint of caramel malts, give this beer a very good taste for an amber ale.  These flavors also suggest that the brewers have tilted the balance of the beer a little more toward the malts than the hops.  However, the taste of the hops comes out with the finish, completing the beer.

This is a beer will not overwhelm you with either malts or hops, because I don't believe that it was brewed with that intent.  Instead, it is a beer that provides you with a little of each, malts and hops, that leads to a very good drinking experience.

While The Brew Kettle bottles its own beers, those beers are distributed primarily in Ohio.  You can always pick up a bottle at The Brew Kettle Taproom and Smokehouse.  I strongly suggest a visit to the restaurant, because you can have the beer on tap along with a plate of pulled pork nachos, which are always very good.


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