over on Twitter. "Z" is the handle he uses to post on his blog, so I guess I'll go with that for short. Z decided to take me up on my plea for guest posters a few days ago. Yeah, I know. Why would a real reporter for NewJerseyCraftBeer.com want to stoop this low? Anyway, Z picked a local beer to showcase, one from a brewery that I've never tasted a single drop. Thanks for the review, Z.
River Horse Lager
Today I'm drinking an unfiltered River Horse Lager by River Horse Brewing in Lambertville, NJ.
Typically, I do not write
reviews for craft beer that consist of more than a single line (there are
just so many other people that do a much better job than I can ever do).
However, when Rob at Daily Beer Review asked for volunteers to write a
post for his blog, I jumped at the opportunity. Being new to the craft
beer blog scene, this is my first "article" for another blog - and I'm
very excited to write it. Since Rob is from the Sunshine State of
Florida, I immediately knew that I wanted to pick a local beer to review
- afterall, I'm sure the NJ selection in FL is rather slim!
Horse Brewing is located in central New Jersey about 20 miles away from
the capital, Trenton. I was first introduced to River Horse by my
girlfriend who brought over a six-pack of their American Pale Ale, Hop
Hazard last summer. Fast forward about a year and I find myself in a
local bar in Jersey City speaking to Rob, a River Horse Sales
Representative. We chatted about numerous things including local
breweries, RH's recent brews (check out the Hipp O Lantern Imperial
Pumpkin Ale - it's to die for!), and the name River Horse. Unbeknowst to
me, the term river horse refers to a hippopotamus (and apperently a lot
of people besides me already knew this). Rob explained that one of the
founders of the brewery enjoyed many safari trips to Africa and
practically fell in love with the animal. Perhaps he was pulling my
chain, but considering the various quirky nuances of the craft beer
community, I tend to believe him.
I stumbled into the
River Horse Lager in sample 12-pack and figured it'd be a perfect
selection for this review. The bottle has an appealing silver and black
bottle cap with the River Horse hippo stamped on it and it comes with a
nicely designed "free-spirit" label. The front notes the beer's 5%
alcohol content and mentions the fact that it is unfiltered. Turning the
bottle 180 degrees presents the back label where the brewers decided to
include a fun note to the beer's drinkers:
this is CRAFT beer, so don't think this is just any old Lager. This beer
is actually an 'Ungespundet Hefetrub'. Don't even try to out-geek us."
beer poured a hazy golden rust-like color with a small head which
quickly dissipated. There doesn't seem to be a substantial amount of
carbonation as the craft is sitting rather still in the glass. On the
nose, there is the typical lager malt scent but it's pleasant and not
overpowering. Very subtle hints of hops try to balance out the total
scent of the beer, but take a back seat to the toasted and biscuity
The taste is very crisp with bready malts
stealing the show. There is a small taste of bitter hops which certainly
helps balance the overall taste making the experience refreshing. At
the end, there is a spicy finish with a slight alcohol burn. No other
flavors make a substantial appearance but there are very subtle hints of
sweet (perhaps honey?) and grass.
On the tongue, the
beer is very enjoyable and smooth making it easy to consume a few
bottles in a row. The overall feel is smooth and almost velvety /
creamy. Interestingly enough, the carbonation is rather strong which was
not expected when looking at the beer while it was resting in the glass
(perhaps it was a bad pour).
Overall, this is a tasty
lager which can be easily enjoyed on a warm summer day at the beach or
at your local BBQ!