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Ouisconsing Red Ale

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Central Waters Brewing Company
Amherst, WI

Style: Amber Ale
ABV: 4.8%

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

I’m taking off on a tour of Wisconsin for the next little bit of time. My first stop is Amhurst, which is home to Central Waters. Started in the late ’90s by a pair of homebrewing friends in Junction City, this generically named brewery was built by hand and has grown to fill its new present location since 2007.

They currently distribute throughout central Wisconsin and feature around 18 regular brews, a couple of which have won awards including a bronze at the World Beer Cup in 2000 for their “Catastrophe Ale” tribute to Y2K.

One of their flagships has always been their red ale, named for a Native American version of the state moniker. It pours beautifully red, with a big bubbly head that drifts off quickly to a thin lace. Deep copper in color, it’s very clear and clean. The nose is malt forward with a balance finishing hop to clean it up, trailing off into a lingering, malty aftertaste.

This is very balanced and a nice session ale that would appeal to mainstream beer drinkers, who are sticking a toe into the craft brew world, because it still “tastes like beer.” The profile is malt based, without huge roasted flavors or more than a hint of malty bitterness.

Craft beer lovers would also be satisfied when looking for a sessionable brew, much the way a Bell’s Amber or Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold can hit the spot perfectly some days.

While this is certainly nothing spectacular, it is absolutely solid by every measure and would be welcome in my fridge any time.

Reviewed by Rings on April 17, 2013.
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