Avery 14'er ESB
I've been drinking a lot of high-end stuff lately.
I found a bottle of the '08 Stone RIS in a box in my garage a couple of days ago, and it was every bit as amazing as I remembered it. I've visited Bell's a couple of times in the last couple of weeks, enjoying their world-class ales like the Golden Funk and their Mild. I've had bottles of New Holland Golden Cap Saison, Unibroue Trois Pistoles, and BrewDog's Punk IPA.
And it's not like I'm complaining, exactly. But sometimes you need something a little more... accessible. A beers that isn't exactly average, but something that isn't exactly trying to blow you away. And for me there's nothing that fills that bill (call it a "can drink while playing XBox without feeling guilty) than a nice high-quality ESB.
Enter Avery's 14'er ESB.
Avery's an incredibly well-respected nationally-distributed brewery, of course, so it's not exactly like I'm slumming it, but the 14'er was exactly what I needed for this evening after a long day at work. Smooth malty texture, somewhat bready flavor, with a dry finish and a hoppy afteraste -- I'd finished two before I even finished making dinner. At 5.1% ABV it's a bit heavy for a bog-standard "session beer," but otherwise this fits the bill for me just about perfectly: I could easily see myself making and evening of it with these either at a bar or just with a sixer.
My Overall BA Rating: 4.05/5