If you're thinking of joining a beer of the month club you've found the right place. Each month we review a beer of the month club shipment to give you an idea of what you really get. This month Gourmet Monthly Clubs sends us Four+ Brewing Company, an offshoot of Salt Lake City, UT brewery Uinta Brewing Company, Fordham Brewing Company from Virginia and American Honor Brewing Company from Pennsylvania.
Four+ Brewing Company Sum’r Organic Summer Ale
Appearance: This Sum’r Organic Summer Ale pours with a HUGE white head that stays fluffy for-seemingly-ever! Rather than settling away to nothing, it just thickens into what we can only describe as a meringue...beer meringue, yum! The beer itself is almost an afterthought after this impressive display, a hazy, light straw that looks perfect for a hot summer day.
Smell: The brew smells light. A bit of yeast hits your nose with some fruitiness and, after that, you get a bit of grass clipping-like hops and some lemon...this brew just smells like summer!
Taste: This is a good beer for an extremely muggy day! It starts out with a crisp, but not overdone, hope bite. For people scared of hops, it’s not too much, but it will serve to satisfy the hop lover of your friends. It’s really dry and has a strong carbonation which suits this style well. Finally, for those of you who often add fruit to your summer beer, no need here! They’ve used a proprietary Japanese hop that imparts a bit of lemon aroma and taste. Perfect detail for this beer!
American Honor Brewing Company Declaration Ale
Appearance: Declaration Ale pours a clear, rich amber. As opposed to the Four+ Sum’r, Declaration Ale pours with very little head and what’s there disappears exceedingly quickly.
Smell: Without a strong head, this beer doesn’t give off a lot of smell, but the first thing you’ll notice is distinctly American hops. It’s not too strong, but they’re there and they’re citrusy. Other than that, you get just the lightest whiff of clean malt.
Taste: This brew tastes much more bitter than the 28 IBUs it’s labelled as having. It starts out bitter and a little thin, but then the malt comes through. The finish is a lot more full as some of the malt sweetens, firming up the flavor and balancing the hops. The malt is well showcased for a pale ale like this, more in the English style than the American style. Overall this is a tasty brew that you’ll be happy to try!
Four+ Brewing Company Wyld Organic Extra Pale Ale
Appearance: Tonight has been an exercise in variability! The first beer had a monster head, the second beer had no head and now the third has a very normal, very white head. It’s a hazy, golden brew and, when you put the beer and head together, looks very appealing!
Smell: Wyld Extra Pale Ale is made with Simcoe and Amarillo hops, the latter being known for it’s tropical fruit aroma, and damn can you smell it!
Taste: Wow, this is tasty! We could drink this all day out at a barbecue and, at 4.5% abv, it wouldn’t knock us out either! It’s dry throughout with a nice, crisp hop bitterness up front. In the finish you get the tropical fruit from the hops with one of the cleanest finishes we’ve ever tasted. This would go great with a cheeseburger as the carbonation and crispness would cut right through the creamy cheese and grease of the burger. We’ll be on the lookout for this one.
Fordham Brewing Company Tavern Ale
Appearance: This is the darkest beer we’ve seen tonight as it pours a hazy, dark amber...almost brown. The head is a light tan, about a finger and a half thick and creamy looking!
Smell: It’s also the biggest beer we’ve seen all night, and you can smell it! One whiff and you’re met with sweet malt and a touch of dank hops on the back.
Taste: The taste is just as you’d expect from the smell. Sweet malt meets a balancing hop bitterness with gentle carbonation that brings the beer alive but doesn’t overpower anything. The hops stick around a bit longer than the malt, meaning the finish and aftertaste is a bit bitter. Think of this as an end of summer brew, when you’re not sure if the night will be cold.