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Beer Reviews

Louie’s Demise

Milwaukee Ale House
Milwaukee, WI

Style: Altbier
ABV: 5.1%

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

If you ever make your way to Milwaukee, there are a couple of “must visits,” at least when it comes to beer. The most obvious one is Lakefront Brewery, mainly for the tour. It’s gotten a little overcrowded and, it pains me to say, a little touristy, but it’s still required attendance if you haven’t been before. Next up is Sprecher, which isn’t technically in Milwaukee. Instead, it sits on a quiet, neighborhoody street in Glendale, a suburb that butts up against Milwaukee’s northern boundary. The tour there is pretty standard, so the real reason to visit is to get the beer punch card, with which for every 10 cases you buy, the eleventh is free. And, to answer your question, no, the Gremlin will not hold eleven cases of 16-ouncers in the trunk. I had to strap the last two to the roof.

For the third must-visit Milwaukee beer destination, I would like to put forward the Milwaukee Ale House, down in the Third Ward. The atmosphere there is just electric, with live music virtually every night, a deck overlooking the Milwaukee River, and, of course, pickled hop shoots. Yum. They also make some nice beer there, and the first of their creations to be bottled up for distribution is a little amber number they call Louie’s Demise.

The color of this beer as it sits in my glass can only be described with one word: amber. Yeah, how fucking original. But, seriously: it’s a variable color averaging a dark orange yellow … with some red in it. Anyway, that’s how it looks, with a fairly thin, short-lived head. The front of the nose exhibits some tinniness, followed by estery fruitiness, yummy crystal malt (a hallmark of the American amber style, I’d say), and a short twang of hops. The sip starts off soft and pillowy, medium bodied, with some drier, bread-like sweetness in the fore. That tinniness from the nose takes over after that, along with a small but evident hop bite.

As ambers go, Louie’s Demise is a dry, drinkable take on the style. Personally, I would say this is a perfect example of a classic alt—cleaner flavors than your typical American amber, the maltiness toned down to a more biscuit-like character, and a tinniness in both nose and palate that some might mistake for a flaw. So if you happen to see a sixer pick one up or, even better, make a road trip to Milwaukee and get a pint or two right out of the tap. Just make sure to get some pickled hop shoots to munch on, too.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on February 8, 2008.
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