Dark Horse Brewing Boffo Brown Ale

October 11 2010 - 7:17 AM

What can I say?  The state of Michigan is absolutely cleaning up when it comes to producing great breweries and beers.  I wrote earlier this week about Founders Brewery in Grand Rapids, a stellar brewer whose repertoire you really need to try.  Consider Dark Horse Brewing from Marshall another winner, and is certainly Founders main rival for producing outstanding results in American style brewing (Bell's heard the call and is getting more creative - more on them soon).  As you will see, Dark Horse has scored another terrific entry with their Boffo Brown Ale.

We are descening into the heart of the fall and,  in Boffo, one has a great brew to go forth and conquer the chill. This is a straight up classic.  It is dark like a porter or stout, and is unfiltered, offering no translucence.  With the help of some Mucinex, you can breathe well enough to smell some nutty flavors, slightly sweet malts and graininess.  It pours a modest tan head that fades quickly. That it does not disappear completely (like a Shiner Bock) tells you that it offers some serious carbonation. 

It even tastes like fall.  Rugged nut flavors blend with herbaceous hops and with a hint of tart orange-cranberry tea on the finish.  You just have to smack your lips.  Similar to Brooklyn Brown Ale, but better, the flavors do not build up on the tongue and overwhelm the palate.  All of the elements hang together well in rather seamless fashion.  This beer is definitely sessionable.  Its flavors are so robust that it will drink extremely well cold; it almost begs you for a frosty mug. 

As for pairing, this is a perfect tailgating beer but so good and flavorful it's a shame to drink it from a bottle.  Drink this with grilled meats and fish, chili (it might make a great chili ingredient but what a waste), and any other savory dishes and comfort foods.  I want this on Thanksgiving Day.   

Brown Ales tend to run together – everyone's got one, including Bell's, Sam Adams, and a host of others.  Dark Horse has exceeded in creating a standout in a crowded field. You can find this at some of the finer liquor stores that offer craft beers. 

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