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Monday, April 15, 2013

New Glarus Brewing's Totally Naked

  • Style: Pale Lager
  • ABV: 4.25%
  • Season: Spring/Summer
  • Color: Pale golden yellow; no haziness
  • Head: 2 fingers with wonderful sticky lacing
  • Aroma: Sweet with biscuit, toast and a bit of citrus
  • Mouthfeel: Light in body, but plenty of carbonation
  • Finish: Short and pretty one note
  • Food friendly: Hell, to the yes.  It's a pale, session lager.  A beer like this would be great with something spicy, such as Mexican food or with heavier dishes such as Italian meals.  Serve with with an earthy cheese like Camembert   

For those of you not in the know (or who have never Googled this page by name) I apparently share this name with a porn site (didn't know, too late to change it, maybe it'll work in my favor someday)  So this is a throw away to any of you who have stumbled upon my little page randomly.  Cause I'm afraid that this as good as it's gonna get.

Purity.  It seems like a good thing, doesn't it.  We want our water to be pure from chemicals so we buy expensive filtration systems that make unfiltered water look and taste like, well, water.   We want our vegetables to be pure from  pesticides so we buy organic, even if we end up leaving most of the sack of grapes rotting uneaten in the fridge.  And now we can buy our beer pure from additives.  At least we can, if we live in Wisconsin (or know a guy willing to schelp a a six pack or two across state lines for you.)  New Glarus Brewing, located and distributing in Wisconsin only, offers a lager that is free from added chemicals and additives that they call, appropriately enough, Totally Naked.  This, to clarify is not a suggestion on how to imbibe this malt beverage (although, how you personally spend your Saturday night is of course, completely your business.  FYI- drawn curtains are your friend.)   It's a pale lager and at 4.25% ABV, certainly very session-able.  Session-able is another one of those code words that float around.  Session beers are traditionally 5.0% ABV or lower and are beers that one can drink in succession during a sitting.  However, if you are ever at a tasting event, surrounded by a gaggle of beer geeks, and want to have a little fun, just ask a few of them to define a "session" beer.  Then stand  back and watch the foam fly (be sure to cover your drink first.)  Because, like many seemingly innocent things in the beer world (such as inquiring as to the difference between a porter and a stout or whether bombers are a grand idea or a complete and utter rip off)  the average beer geek has very strong opinions about exactly what is session-able and what is a session beer.

Session beers are probably a good idea for the clothing optional crowd.  Probably not a bad idea for people who stumble upon clothing optional crowds too

My Totally Naked poured a pale golden color, very straw yellow in character.  It was extremely clear with no hint of haziness.  A pure white, two finger head formed and took it's sweet time in settling.   Wonderfully gorgeous, sticky snow white clumps of lacing stuck to the sides of the pint glass. There wasn't an abundance of aroma, but that's to be expected from the style.  I could smell sweetness with bits of biscuit and a slight note of toast.  There were lost of pale malts basically.  A hint of citrus was present which helped to brighten the aroma considerably.  That taste was rather pure in flavor.  The sweet pale malts shined brightest, just as they did in the aroma.  Not quite a malt bomb, but there was no mistaking it for anything but a pale lager.  The taste of grains were off set with the mild hop notes of citrus and a flora.  The mouthfeel was light and crisp with lots of carbonation to help the brew go down easy like any good session beer.  The finish was short to medium with a dryness on the tail.  It was an easy to drink, very simple, yet still enjoyable,  beer.
Lovely lacing.  According to Tim Gunn, lacing is very "in" right now too. 

Some beers are notoriously difficult to pair with food.  Totally Naked is not one of those beers.  If you have food in front of you, it will work with this brew.  Personally, I think that this would be a great option for most ethnic foods.  You could confidently serve this with Spinach Enchiladas knowing fell well that the beer's pale malt sweetness would compliment the spiciness of any enchiladas sauce.  Or if you're feeling a bit Italian one night, toss together a dish of Ziti with Sausage and Fennel.  Of course the beauty of a session, low AVB sort of beer is that on a warm Summer's day, you can always kick back in a chaise lounge, pop open a few, crank up some good music on your IPod (and by good music, I mean stuff I like.  Anything else, use your ear buds accordingly) and just chill.

Pure as snow.  Well, hopefully it's a lot purer than snow once you think about it.

Purity, just like Chinese food, is all about your state of mind.  Personally, I'm pretty good with eating just about anything in a Chinese restaurant as long as it's never actually explained to me what I'm putting into my mouth.  Beer falls into the same category for me.  Would I have enjoyed this simple, straight forward session brew any less if it had contained some additive that is spelled with more letters than your average city in Wales?   I doubt it.  But is a nice thought that you can kick back and enjoy a beer that may be a bit healthier for you than your average brew.  Heck, since it's a session, have two.  Just keep the pants on everyone, OK?  Or at least remember to close the curtains.