The Lucky Lab, bless their hearts, seem to have two speeds: hoppy and dark. It is sometimes amusing to consider the style designation as you quaff a pint of, say alt--for the Lab, style is a state of mind, nothing to get too worked up about. (Pity the Dusseldorfer who expects something familiar in his alt.)
That's why I urge you to try out a very un-Lablike offering on tap now--Quality Rye. I'm certain I've seen and tried this beer before, but either it's changed or I've forgotten how good it is. At 4.5% and 15 IBUs, it probably doesn't get a lot of love from the regulars, but it's a very subtle, well-made beer. Rye contributes a kind of spicy quality, and dries a beer at the finish. It's not always easy to identify, but in this very svelte little ale, you get a good sense of it.
Quality Rye is slightly hazy and pours with a frothy head--nice for a beer of this weight class. I get a bit of a lemon from the combination of Fuggles and Hallertauer hops and the rye malt--or perhaps lemongrass is a better description. It's creamy but very crisp, a nice combination for a summer beer. A great example of how complexity and interest can come in spite of few ingredients. I'd love to see the Lucky Lab brew with this kind of subtlety more often.
Black Raven Beer Dinner at Trattoria Cuoco
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