Multiple Beer Reviews: Kettle Sour Gose, ESB, Dandy-Lion Saison, TropiKolsch (Mount Gretna Craft Brewery)

Multiple Beer Reviews: Kettle Sour Gose, ESB, Dandy-Lion Saison, TropiKolsch (Mount Gretna Craft Brewery)

A flight of beers at Mount Gretna Craft Brewery, from left to right: Kettle Sour Gose, ESB, Dandy-Lion Saison, and TropiKolsch.

After dropping my oldest off with her mother in Campbelltown, off of Lawn Road, I was right there by the brewery, so I just had to stop in right? I mean, I couldn’t say no to a brewery that is literally right on the same road as me…. so I had to stop. Had to.

So this is all a direct continuation of Friday night. I know I meant to post this blog update after work yesterday…. but well…. I got distracted by drinking. (It happens… don’t stare at me like that.) My friend Drew called me out after work so I stopped there, and we pounded some beers with another friend (Dan) and discussed everything and anything pop culture and then watched Terror in Beverly Hills. Which, is a must see if you are a big FRANK Stallone fan. Anyway, you might be seeing some articles on here by Drew in the future, or at least the podcasts he is working on. Which I will be participating in as well. (Gaming and beer related podcasts, where we drink and play old NES or SNES video games. So be sure to check them out whenever we get them done and posted, and I will be putting links to them here on this blog.) We did drink some quality beers last night, Spundae by Spring House, Velvet Cake by Spring House, Key Lime Pie Confectioner by D9, Atomic Pumpkin by New Belgium, and then we segued into drinking Natty Daddy’s, Naturdays, and Miller Light…. and random liquors around his house. Yea… it devolved pretty quickly and into one of those kinds of nights.

But have no fear, I’m up early, sober, and with minimal hangover, so its time to write this beer review of the flight I had at Mount Gretna Craft Brewery, just like I promised, …only a few (14-ish) hours late(r).

Kettle Sour Gose by Mount Gretna Craft Brewery

Decided to do a flight of all light, tart, sour-ish beers. But unfortunately the one kicked so I stuck an ESB in the middle, which still isn’t bad. So my flight went Gose, ESB, Saison, Kolsch. I can handle a nice flight like that, especially after a night at Troegs and eating tacos and soft pretzels and drinking pale ales and IPAs.

Beer: Kettle Sour Gose
Brewery: Mount Gretna Craft Brewery
Style: Sour – Gose
ABV: 4.3%
IBU: 11
Untappd Write-Up: German-style beer with a refreshing tart lemon verbena mixed with a touch of Summertime Salt. 4.3 ABV / 11 IBU

This is a very typical, light, airy, nicely tart kettle sour / gose. Its crisp, its tart, its light, its relatively smooth, it has a nice bit of a pop to it. Its nothing extraordinary, but its far far far from bad. Its a good beer.

Appearance is clear, bit of fiz head to it, has the light look of a gose and tart sours. Like an off-hue of lagers and pilsners, there’s that translucent quality to goses and most sours that you can just tell its going to be tart.

Once again aroma is that tartness, bit of lime and lemon whiff you get from kettle sours. Not a lot of adjuncts or anything to differentiate it from other similar goses and kettle sours.

Taste is also exact for kettle sours and tart goses; its clean, crisp, refreshing, effervescent, a nice clean beer. Summertime calling type beer. I wish I had more descriptors and could go on more about it, but I really don’t have much to say about this. Its just a nice, plain, generic kettle sour beer thats good but won’t wow, its tasty, nothing bad to say about it, just nothing amazing to say about it.

My Untappd Rating: ***.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.55 (as of 9.15.19)

ESB by Mount Gretna Craft Brewery

The odd-ball of my flight, the non-sour/non-tart/non-refreshing/non-crisp beer of my flight. The only “dark” beer on the flight. Sadly, it didn’t quite hold up, and not in the least because of the style.

Beer: ESB
Brewery: Mount Gretna Craft Brewery
Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter
ABV: 4.7%
IBU: 37
Untappd Write-Up: The British version of a pale ale.  Made with traditional European malts and hops, it’s a balance between bitterness of the hops and sweetness of the malts.  An earthy, floral flavor profile and aroma with a hint of residual sweetness.  Pairs well with chicken, fish & chips, cheeses.

Sadly, this just felt off and tasted off to me. Not exactly to tradition, and not exactly the beer style’s fault, this was more of a problem with the beer recipe I think (or perhaps production, but I think it wasn’t bad brewing, just not a good recipe).

Appearance is dark, malty, typical for ESB’s. Its brown, bready looking, and kind of with a slightly unfiltered look, little bit of floaters. There is some clarity, and it has a lager-ish look (albeit darker), and appearance is good and on point for the style.

Aroma is bready, malty, and heady. Some roasty notes but not much, you get some of the hops in the aroma, all bitterness and no fruity hop notes. Still nothing out of the ordinary and everything looks and smells fine with this beer.

Taste is straight up bitter. Which isn’t necessarily a problem, but there is no sweetness of malt, just bitter hop, bitter malt, bitter roast, and with an astringency. The sheer overwhelming bitterness is what makes me think its a recipe problem and not a brewing problem. Just too much bitter hops, too much bitter malts, too much everything bitter, and nothing to kind of thin it out or to mellow it even the slightest. Like the style was ramped up massively. This is what leads me to believe its the recipe, that they took the style and tried to overachieve with it. There is nothing too off about the beer outside of all this, some astringency, and some after-taste thats a bit bad, but could just be from the massive amounts of bittering rather than anything else.

My Untappd Rating: ***.25
Global Untappd Rating: 3.45 (as of 9.15.19)

Dandy-Lion Saison by Mount Gretna Craft Brewery

Catalogue this one under good but weird after-taste.

Beer: Dandy-Lion Saison
Brewery: Mount Gretna Craft Brewery
Style: Farmhouse Ale – Saison
ABV: 5%
IBU: None
Untappd Write-Up: French style saison with a seasonal kick of sunflower seeds and dandelion heads. This might yellow ale boasts a foamy white head that finishes dry with an herbaceous hint of dandelions

This was delicious, just left a weird after-taste. Let me be up front about that. I really enjoyed the beer, up until after I finished it and then it just had a weird after-taste that kept me burping a bit with a bad taste in my mouth. Not really horrible, and not enough to knock it crazily, but, was unpleasant.

Appearance is a mellow yellow, a soft translucent, clear, see-through off-key Belgian-esque orange that is far more yellow. Little bit of a head to it, but not much due to just being a taster.

Aroma smells like an open field. Grassy, full of summer time air. Dandalions being picked by kids, sunflower seeds, garden plants, grass dewy yet.

Taste is refreshing and crisp, you get the sunflower seed flavor, but not roasted sunflower seeds like you sucked on and chewed and spit out when you were a kid in little league. This is like fresh picked sunflower seeds. Nice refreshing tartness to this.

….but then that aftertaste. After I sat down the sampler for the last time, it kicked in, and got me. A wave of funkyness from the beer. Just something off, and it made me burp a few times, and not pleasant “oh I get to taste this again” burps, but almost like a funky brett or funky sour kinda taste. Maybe it was a one time thing, or maybe its the beer, I don’t know.

My Untappd Rating: ***.50
Global Untappd Rating: 3.56 (as of 9.15.19)

TropiKolsch by Mount Gretna Craft Brewery

The last of my flight, a Kolsch by Mount Gretna Craft Brewery. This one was the fruitiest of the bunch, and perhaps my favorite of the flight as well.

Beer: TropiKolsch
Brewery: Mount Gretna Craft Brewery
Style: Kolsch
ABV: 5.2%
IBU: 21
Untappd Write-Up: Campbelltown Kolsch has a clear, sun-bleached straw color with a medium white head that doesn’t stick around very long. It is light in body with delicate fruit and bread notes and good carbonation. A balanced beer with soft malty sweetness and a smooth crisp mouthfeel. With the addition of mango! Pairs well with salads, chicken and fish

This was very refreshing, light, and good. The appearance, like the kettle sour gose, is light, translucent and see-through, clear and refreshing looking. No sediments, no floaters, no haze, just simple, clean, crisp, clear beer.

Aroma is fruity and bright. Hop notes of like cirtra and the other fruit forward hops. Some mango and possibly peach aroma.

Taste is crisp, refreshing, cool, and smooth drinking. Nothing cloy, nothing clinging to your mouth, nice light mouthfeel. Mango flavor dominates a bit, but it has an overall crisp fruityness to it. Tart and refreshing but not sour and no punch to it.

My Untappd Rating: ***.50
Global Untappd Rating: 3.26 (as of 9.15.19)

So, it didn’t come out when I promised (last night, 9.14.19, after work), but it came out now, and I’m off for work. While I’m busting and working hard, you all need to root on the Bengals vs. the 49ers for me. Its only fair afterall!

Keep enjoying the suds!

-B. Kline

A flight from Mount Gretna Craft Brewery

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