Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Batch 8000

Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
Galesburg, MI

Style: Belgian Strong Ale

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

And the search continues …

That’s right, boys and girls, your intrepid (or maybe just trepid, I dunno) beer explorer is still on the prowl, looking for the best Belgian-style trippels and strong golden ales the Midwest has to offer. My search has led me to one of Larry Bell’s takes on the subject, not his seasonal Sparkling Ale, but the eponymous celebratory offering Batch 8000.

To stack the cards in Larry’s favor, I poured Batch Numero … uh … Ocho … Millennio into a fluted Triple Karmeliet glass to bring out everything this beer has to offer. The brew has a orange-gold hue and a bumpy (not rocky) white head of just over a finger in depth. The central area of the head fizzed away after a minute or so, but an outer ridge lodged against the sides of the glass for the duration of the drink. The nose sported a mix of bready malt and Belgian spiciness, with a tiny dash of hops. That breadiness stands out front on the palate, a dry sweetness with only a fraction of the spiciness from the nose. There’s some orangey citrus in there, too, which has become almost like a trademark of Bell’s brews—Oberon and Two Hearted, to wit—and here it plays so close to real oranges that there’s a tiny zap of acidity in there to boot. Add in a crisp hop snap to the end, and you have a very, very short, dry finish, leaving you wondering where the Hell the rest of your sip went. In fact, the finish is too short—the malt and spices get snipped off so fast you don’t get a chance to savor them.

Toeing the authentic Belgian line, Batch Eight Grand is bottle conditioned—quite a bit of yeasty sediment coated the bottom of the bottle, but very little made it into the glass. Just an example of how finely crafted a beer this actually is, despite a comparatively lackluster flavor profile. If my standards weren’t so high when it comes to Belgian styles, this’d be up there in the four-mug zone. I am going to recommend it, but it can’t crack that glass ceiling.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on January 30, 2008.
Agree with this review?
Happy anniversary, Lakefront Brewery!

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

Beer Dorks News

Want to know how healthy the craft beer industry is? As always, look to Portland. Craft pioneer Bridgeport announces sudden closure, adding to a growing list of PDX casualties.
Did Anheuser-Busch Chicago offer their shit beer to Cody Parkey before his missed field goal? Because that may explain why he "accidentally" biffed it.
Chicago now has the most breweries of any city in the country. Other things Chicago has the most of: murders, mobsters, and Ditkas.
Trying to spin it positive, BA releases end of year graphic. Only 5% growth in the craft sector when nearly 1000 new breweries opened? That's a collapse waiting to happen.
R.I.P. Tallgrass... another casualty as the regional/national craft beer market continues to get squeezed.
Wait... Constellation Brands cut all of the Ballast Point and Funky Buddha sales staff? They merged it with their Corona/Modelo staff?? We're SHOCKED!!!
Pizza Beer founder crying about failure of company, blames everyone else. Reminder, the beer tasted like vomit. Try having better ideas or making better products so you're not a failure.
It's Bud Light so doesn't really matter, but we expect this beer to be sitting around for awhile.
Indiana brewery to open with controversial beer names to "get the conversation going". Translation: taking advantage of serious issues for free publicity.
Hundreds of amazing beers in Wisconsin and the Cubs took back the one everyone drinks just because it exists and people have heard of it. How fitting...