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Monday, April 21, 2014

Lake Effect Brewing's Kiwi Snow

  • Style: White Pale Ale brewed with New Zealand Hops (Nelson Savin & Motueka Hops)
  • ABV: 6.5%
  • Ease to Locate: Bottle shops and liquor store here in Chicagoland are well supplied.  But you know the drill.  Follow them on Facebook here or on Twitter here to keep updated on their deliveries
  • Color: Golden straw sunshine in a glass.  Very clear with visible carbonation
  • Head: Two fingers of pure white foam head.  Very tight bubbles leaving delicate, creeping lacing.  So pretty, mate.
  • Aroma: Tropical fruit, lemon & lime citrus and a slight note of wine.  So good, mate.
  • Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with abundant carbonation.  Dry & highly drinkable.  Have another, mate.
  • Finish: Long with a lingering note of lime.  
  • Food friendly?: Hell, yes!  Poultry, white fish, veggie dishes, you get the idea.  Do you want to eat a light, bright meal this Spring?  Have I got the perfect beer for you.  I'd serve this with a creamy cheese, such as brie to play off of the brightness of the drink.

            I know.  I was shocked that Paul Hogan was nominated for an Oscar too.  But it was for WRITING remember.  Any hack with a working knowledge of the alphabet can write.  Or so I've been told. 

It's been a bitch of a winter.  There's really no other way to put it.  The amount of snow and the sheer number of days we spent here in Chicago that were inhumanly well below zero (even without the wind chill factored in) were enough to make even the most die hard Chicagoan consider packing up their Bears jersey and dibs chairs for a move to Brazil.  (Dónde puedo poner mi silla dib?)  But we didn't (well, I didn't anyway.  You may be reading this blog post on the sandy beaches of Rio De Janeiro.  And if you are, kudos for you for still keeping it real, my friend.)  Our reward for braving out one of the snowiest and coldest winters in recorded history?  Lake Effect Brewing made us a beer with the word snow in it.  Not cool, guys. After I purchased this bomber of this fermented hopped bliss, I stared at the lable, thinking to myself that I never want to see another thing that reminded me of snow again.  Snow is the new "S" work in my house (the old one being "Silly Putty"  Don't ask.  And also don't let someone leave it in their jean pocket when doing a wash.)  Luckily, Lake Effect stuck a funny looking Australian bird skiing on their label to distract us from the dreadful word.  And even luckier is that the beer inside the bottle tasted like liquid sunshine.

My Kiwi Snow poured a golden straw color.  The beer was completely clear, making perfectly easy to witness the millions of tiny carbonation bubbles that raced to the surface.  Just under two fingers of tight, pure white foam formed a solid head.  It produced soapy, delicate lacing that crept high up the sides of my tulip glass.  I'll be honest, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Sitting down outside for the first time in months with a gorgeous looking beer in hand felt as if Spring had finally arrived.  I could smell juicy tropical fruit immediately on the nose.  It was followed closely by the bright citrus notes of lemon and lime (you can thank the Motueka hop for that.)  Nelson Savin seems to be the new "hip" hop of choice for many brewers now (would that make it the Grandmaster Flash of hops?)  And I'm not complaining.  I loved the white wine character that this hop gave my Kiwi Snow.  It didn't taste like wine per say, but the slight tang reminiscent of mineral Saviaugn Blanc or an old world Chardonnay  gave the nose a depth of flavor.  The taste leaned heavier towards the notes of lemon and lime, but the Nelson Savin hops presence worked it's magic just as it had on the aroma.  I love a well layered beer.  I tasted a hint of pineapple and possibly a bit of stone fruit, but neither were the main feature.  Since most people might expect a flavor note of the fruit Kiwi when drinking a beer names Kiwi Snow, the highly savvy brewers over at Lake Effect made certain to state right on their label that absolutely no kiwis were used when brewing this beer.  No kiwis were eaten when brewing this beer.  The brewers even avoided the produce section at their local supermarket during the ale's brew days just to be sure.  (OK, the last two might have been implied.  A label really only has so much room.)  A light and heavily carbonated mouthfeel made this a very easy to drink ale.  I particularly enjoyed the long, lime accented finish.  

Some beers are easier to pair with food than others.  I loved that after a few sips of Lake Effect's Kiwi Snow, the possible pairings far outweighed the "Oh my god, what have you done to my lovingly prepared meal that I slaved over for hours with your improperly paired fermented swill!"  Quite seriously, this is a wonderful white pale ale to pair with many Spring dishes.  I particularly like the idea of serving it with a Grilled Tilapia with Vegetables where wine wine is an ingredient in the marinade.  You could also make a Creamless Pasta Primaveria for dinner using whatever fresh vegetables look good at your local market.  And then open a window, breath in the non sub zero air, enjoy the ever so precious glimpses of sun shine and rejoice that we made it through another soul squashing midwest winter.  Because honestly, if I even see another frozen flake that isn't in a snow cone, someone will pay dearly.