Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: Newport Storm Brewery

Newport Storm Beers
love living in Western Massachusetts and really close to Table and Vine. For those of you not in the know, Table and Vine is a giant beer, wine and liquor store in West Springfield. This place 1000's of microbrews and one of the things that they do commonly is beer tasting where local representatives from the local breweries comes and shares their beer with us...for free...This past Thursday at Table and Vine was Newport Storm and let me tell you that their beer was well made.

Newport Storm was started by four friends that were students at a college in Maine. This is such a small operation that they currently only brew 4,000 barrels a year. They only sell to people in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. They currently have two year round beers Hurricane Amber Ale and Rhode IslandBlueberry Beer. They rotate between a Storm of the Season (Seasonal Beer) and a Cyclone Series which is a limited edition beer that they will never make again.

Overall the quality of the beer is high and very accessible to new beer drinkers. One thing that stops new beer microbrew beer drinkers is the hops, which Newport doesn't use a lot of in their general beers. They mainly focus on the use of their proprietary yeast strain. They use standard malts too. Whenever they want to use a Belgium or lager strain, they get those from Trinity Brew House house in Rhode Island. 

For this tasting the rep from the Brewing Company brought us Hurricane Amber Ale, Rhode Island Blueberry, Winter Ale, Spring Ale and their current Cyclone series beer Sabrina.

First up the Flagship beer: 

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This was the first beer we tried; it was mild, smooth and light in body color. Like I mentioned earlier the IBU's are at 23 and the ABV is a very drinkable 5.2%. I liked this beer enough that I got a six pack of it. When tasting the beer you mostly can taste the yeast strain, the hops and malts are very mild. According to their website they used Tettenang and Magnum hops. 

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This beer had a strong nose, smelled like fresh blueberries. They use are a 1000 lbs of blueberries and no syrup used. The beer was smooth and refreshing. I would almost compare it to a blueberry muffin. Zack, our rep was even joking they would drink the beer for breakfast. This Kölsch beer comes in at 11 IBU's (I didn't even think that good beer would be that low) and the ABV is at 4.6%. This beer will be a great, light summer beer.

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We followed that with the Winter Ale, which is a Chocolate Porter. Again the beer is smooth and drinkable. I don't really like Porters and Stouts but this one was likable. It has a low IBU, at 33 and 5.9%. It can be mixed with the Blueberry and tastes really good too. 

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Next up is the Spring Ale, which is not traditional ale. The beer was designed as an Irish Red Ale. The beer itself was freshly packed into bottles and will be out for sale soon. For this beer they used roasted malts, this beer again was light on the malts. The beer was not a heavy beer and was quite smooth (this is a recurring theme with theme). The IBU's were 33 and the ABV is 5.0%, this beer on the other hand you can taste some of the hops. 
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We ended our testing with Sabrina from the Cyclone series. It is Belgium style pale ale. Now I really like Belgium pale ales and this one is no exception. It has a strong yeast flavor, which is what they wanted to focus on anyways. This beer had by far the highest ABV at 7.1 % but its IBU's still register at 38

Overall a good showing from a company I've never had before.

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