Local Beer Review: Church Street Crimson Clover

Local Beer Review: Church Street Crimson Clover
Church Street Crimson Clover Irish Red Ale. Photo ┬ę Mark McDermott

I might get caught up in another big project that will suck up the available time to work this blog. So let’s dive into another beer that I bought to review.

I’ve had a few beers from Church Street Brewing in Itasca, most of which have been on tap. They must have a pretty decent setup, since they also contracted beers for 51st Ward, Cahoots, Big Shoulders, Gun Craft and Banging Gavel. But this is the first Church Street that I’ve had packaged in bottle or can.

“This” is Crimson Clover, an Irish Red Ale. Their description is: “Our Red Irish Ale is a classic European brew using 100% UK hops and Crystal and Vienna malts. Notes of caramel, toffee, and buttered toast provide for a smooth and complex flavor profile – topped with a creamy head.”

This pours a nice, ruddy Irish Red color, with a foamy head. It’s a little cloudy, looks like it’s been bottle-conditioned with a little yeast. The smell is malty with a light roast, a little in the way of an English Brown Ale.

There is a bit of yeast on the palate, then the caramel notes of those toasty malts. “English” hops have usually meant “Earthy” to me, and this does have a slight note of peat, but still some Noble hop bitterness. The 5.5% alcohol stays nicely out of the way. It’s a hearty beer that would stand up to grilled or roasted beef or pork.

Yeah, I’m bucking the trend by not reviewing the latest milkshake IPA. I’m just showing my preference for the malty side of life, I guess.

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