Monday, October 31, 2011

Great Lakes Brewing Company Nosferatu

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (or Nosferatu, a Symphony of Terror) is a German expressionist horror film that, as most say, was an unauthorized adaption of Bram Stoker's Dracula.  While Nosferatu and Dracula are classic horror movies that can still scare audiences, the main characters stand at two opposite poles.  At one end, there is the charming gentleman, Dracula, played by Bela Lugosi.  And, at the other end, there was the rat-like corpse, Count Orlok, in Nosferatu, played by Max Schreck.  And, while Great Lakes Brewing Company pays a nod to Nosferatu in the brewery's Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale, the craft brewer ends up producing a beer that is much more like Dracula.

Great Lakes has some amazing seasonal beers.  The Nosferatu is one of them, a "deep red stock ale" -- i.e., an Imperial American Red Ale -- that the brewer produces with a lot of hops that are balanced with the right amount of hops.  The hops used in this beer include both Simcoe and Cascade hops.  Each hop serves a function.  The Simcoe hops provide the bitterness while the Cascade hops provide some citrus flavors and aromas.  To balance the hops, Great Lakes use Harrington 2-Row malts, Crystal 77 and Special Roast Malts.  The end product is a beer with an ABV of 8.0% and an IBU of 70.

The Nosferatu pours a rather copperish-red color, something reminiscent of a particular day in late October.  The aromas of the beer seem to feature more of the malts than the hops, although the Cascade hops can be detected around the edges.  Those hops then emerge in the flavor, taking a prominent role in the taste of the beer.  This is where the beer takes on the character of Bela Lugosi.  The taste of the beer is very refined, beautifully portraying the piney flavors of the Simcoe hops against a backdrop of slightly sweet malt flavors, which give hints of caramel and a nice toasty, bread like finish from the yeasts. All of these aromas and flavors give rise to a beer that is more more noble, charming and entrancing ... qualities more found in Dracula than Nosferatu.

Great Lakes Brewing Company suggests that this beer is best paired with red meats, root vegetables and cheeses.  Personally, I think that this beer is best enjoyed as a digestif one Fright Night or one Black Sunday, when, as The Last Man on Earth, you succumb to The Addiction and The Hunger to go out in the Near Dark with a Blade to search From Dusk to Dawn for The Forsaken, Frostbitten, Rabid, Vampire in Brooklyn who goes by the name of Dracula, Blacula, or some other Vamp name like Martin, and who, according to The Queen of the Damned, the Son of Dracula and Dracula's Daughter, was last seen laying low at Salem's Lot in the Underworld with John Carpenter's Vampires, The Lost Boys, and the rest of The Monster Squad, after his attempts to steal the Lifeforce and drain the Innocent Blood from Van Helsing at the Bordello of Blood were thwarted by the The Fearless Vampire Hunters known as Vampire Hunter D and Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Well, until that happens ...

ENJOY and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

For more about Nosferatu and Dracula, check out Moviediva.  Also, for a post of the 70 best vampire movies of all time (according to someone other than me), check out Snarkerati.

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