+
Restaurants & Bars

Lawrence, KS Free State Brewery FreeState Beer Tasting

Chicago Mike | Jan 19, 200601:09 PM     4

Recently I joined a couple friends for a dinner and mostly beer tasting at the Free State Brewery in Lawrence, Kansas. We all remember this place when it was a bus terminal.

Tasting notes are in order of lightness of the brew...

WHEAT STATE GOLDEN. A wheat beer. Nothing not to like. Pleasant if unremarkable. And that's saying something because a Kansas brewery should have GREAT wheat beer. This was not nearly as impressive as Boulevard's wheat or the two wheat offerings at the Blind Tiger in Topeka, for that matter. Score: 6.5 out of 10.00

AD ASTRA ALE. I just don't get this. Slightly bitter with no distinctive flavor. Score: 3.00

JOHN BROWN ALE: Fair but with "porter-like" backnotes that detract. Score: 4.5 to 5.0

COPERHEAD PALE ALE: Mostly a bitter style of pale ale. Score 6.00 Unremarkable.

KINGS CROSS EXTRA SPECIAL BITTERS. My favorite to this point in the tasting Very nice not oppressive bitters style. Score 7.5 to 8.0 Everyone at the table liked this.

OATMEAL STOUT: Not unpleasant. A thinish texture detracts somewhat. Score: 6.0 to 6.5

BLACK JACK PORTER: Nice and smooth. Thicker texture than the stout. Mild creaminess and good if understated aftertaste. Probably the 2nd favorite of the evening. Score 7.0

OLD BACKUS BARLEYWINE. Beautiful nose promised a great drink. Nice initial taste and then... this just fades. In the end that that interesting. Lacking the "evolution" of complex flavors you want from a breat barleywine. Score 5.5

Overall I was not that impressed with the Free State although everyone will likely enjoy the bitters and the porter. Boulevard remains my favorite area micro-brewer at this point with a great wheat, stout, and good pale ale offering.

After the FreeState we "rolled the tasting" over to a friends place where we tried 3 Great Divide beers from the bottle, all quite remarkable:

HERCULES DOUBLE INDIA PALE ALE. A huge beer, very sweet and complex. Nothing not to like. Probably would score around 9.0 in the category, if not higher.

OLD RUFFIAN BARLEYWINE. Very complex and port-like. ANother big winner scoring in the 9's.

OAK AGED YETI IMPERIAL STOUT. I liked this, but not sure I'd prefer it over their "regular" Yeti Imperial. Probably would score it around 8.0 or so.

Overall the Great Divide offerings were tremendous examples of their styles.

Cheers!

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

BBQ 101: How to Grill for Beginners
Guides

BBQ 101: How to Grill for Beginners

by Greg Stegeman | The weather is getting nicer, Memorial Day is on the horizon, and summer is right around the corner...

The Best Grills, BBQ Tools, and Grill Accessories
Guides

The Best Grills, BBQ Tools, and Grill Accessories

by Jen Wheeler | If you're in the market for a new grill, grill brush, or basically any other BBQ tool, grill accessory...

A Comprehensive Guide to Barbecue Sauce Across the Country
Guides

A Comprehensive Guide to Barbecue Sauce Across the Country

by Greg Stegeman | Barbecue sauce is a blanket term that doesn't necessarily do justice to all the regional styles of...

Battle of the BBQ: Where Can You Find the Best in the South?
Guides

Battle of the BBQ: Where Can You Find the Best in the South?

by Joey Skladany | As a self-proclaimed sauce connoisseur and fan of barbecue varieties specifically, I was more than...

See what's new!

View latest discussions ›

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.