This my weekly column of beer reviews. Each week I’ll be giving a beer a thorough review and letting you know what I thought of it. This week’s beer is a 4.5% IPA from Maine’s Zephyr brewing company. Zephyr’s slogan is “The finest craft beer for the discerning craft beer drinker”. I was lucky enough to have a visit from the brewery’s owner, Jeremy Zephyr, last week and got to try a variety of beers and chat about craft beer.
Beer Name:Cauldron DIPA
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Review: According to the website, the style for the Caldera Cauldron changes every year. The current release is a DIPA, which frankly is the only cauldron I’m familiar with (it was an IPA/DIPA the last time I ordered a cauldron at the horsebrass several years back). In any event… at the Horse Brass yesterday. The beer pours an orange copper color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is all hoppy IPA goodness, showcasing a huge aroma of dry citrus, pine and sandlewood. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this West Coast all the way DIPA. This DIPA is not for the faint of heart and is a bit much even for a hophead like myslf. The finish is quite dry and hoppy, and there’s barely enough sweet malt to balance and hold up the avalanche of hoppy bitterness in this beer. Mouthfeel is actually fairly light, with a long, persistentely bitter finish. Drinkability is good, with the alcohol barely noticeable in this well crafted beer. Still, this beer is so hugely hoppy/bitter, it’s really hard for me to imagine ordering more than a single glass. Regardless, this is a very impressive beer from the folks at Caldera.
Beer Name:Caldera Ginger Beer
Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer
Review: 22 oz bottle from “Lifesource” Salem. $3.95 Nice golden clear beer body with a nice sized frothy/creamy white head. Ok
aromas..mainlly a bit of ginger speice and some bready malt..simple nice
Taste very nice indeed..nice spicy ginger backed with slightly caramel maltiness..simple again but i like .
Liked the mouthfeel of this one..very forward carbonation which helps the ginger effect and a lingering ginger in the after taste.
Overall a simple ginger brew .I liked it
Beer Name:Caldera Oatmeal Stout
Style: Oatmeal Stout
Review: Caldera presents yet another circumstance where the brewery does not operate a brewpub, doesnt bottle their beers, and is located 300 miles from my home. To review their beers I traveled to their hometown of Ashland, OR and drank at the Ashland Creek Bar and Grill. This may have been a mistake. Though I had other reasons to visit Ashland, its disappointing (to say the least) to travel 300 miles and be served a spoiled beer. Both the Oatmeal Stout and Ashland Amber were of poor quality at the Ashland Creek Bar and Grill. In the case of the Oatmeal Stout, a nice measure of cream and a wayward thread of mint were marred by a sulfuric smell and likely bacterial infection. Though I cant say for certain, my best guess is that the house tap lines were something other than sanitized. I will attempt to revisit and re-evaluate this beer. But for the time being, its important to ask a pertinent question about quality control. Caldera is a 10 bbl microbrewery in a small town. How much responsibility do they have towards assuring that taps serving their product in their hometown are kept reasonably clean and free of bacterial encroachment? My answer to this question is that the brewery does have some responsibility to assure quality pours in its own hometown. This is especially so when they operate no pub of their own. Not only does this effort protect the consumer from being served a spoiled beer, but the enforcement of quality control measures at the point of consumption simply makes good business sense. Till then, theres nothing I really care say about this beer other than to wish whoever pursues it greater luck than I had at Ashland Creek.
note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together.