Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Sacred Cow

Arbor Brewing
Ann Arbor, MI

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
ABV: 6.5%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

Tonight is the first night of the baseball playoffs, and as I watch the Cubs get their asses walloped by the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles, for some reason the same words keep popping into my head: Sacred Cow! IPA, that is.

Arbor Brewing can be found up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home to Cleary University. They’ve been around since ’95 (the brewery, not the college) and have an interesting lineup of brews. The first of said brews that I’ve had a chance to sample is an IPA called Sacred Cow.

The beer pours a hazy dark gold with a thick, cream-colored head that takes a while to settle down. Not a lot of lacing, but a decent layer of foam hangs around for the entire drink. A strong waft of somewhat citrusy hops is evident immediately, and a closer whiff reveals an over/under of spicy hop aroma and bready malt.

The sip starts with a tussle ’tween caramel malt sweetness and clean, sharp-edged bitterness. At the center the malt dries out and seems poised to win out over the bitterness, but the hops overwhelm the finish with a pungent acerbity that crescendos into a super dry, almost harsh end.

Sacred Cow is a straight-shooting, no-pussy-footing-around IPA. It doesn’t back off on the hops almost to a fault—that finish toes the line with a borderline astringent harshness—but the solid malt center keeps things balanced. Although it doesn’t do enough to hang out with the elite IPAs here in the Midwest, it is certainly above average.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on October 2, 2008.
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