Turntable Pils is a pilsner by Great Lakes Brewing. I don’t know, maybe I just don’t get pilsner. I haven’t had one I’ve liked much, and I disliked this one quite a bit. It pours bright yellow with a ton of foamy head and a lot of carbonation. The aroma reminds me of potato salad and cough medicine. The flavor isn’t as good as the aroma, although it does add something like melted plastic to the mix. And, for all those weird qualities, it still tastes flat. Flat, dry, and medicinal. I finished the bottle purely out of spite.
Squall is a double IPA by Dogfish Head. Dogfish Head knows how to do IPA. This one pours a dense yellow, lots of carbonation, and an extreme amount of foamy head. The aroma is very bitter, musty and dry. Notes of boiled cabbage, pine, just generally funky, bitter hoppiness. The flavor is aggressive. Extremely bitter, with some of the ABV detectable in the nose on the finish. An imperial IPA should do something at least a little bit hostile in your mouth. This one doesn't disappoint.
Samuel Adams generally makes beer I like more than not. Nitro White Ale is a nitrogen beer, and it's not terrible, but it is tame. Tame, bordering on boring. And the nitro doesn't make up for that. This beer pours from the can with a creamy, orange body and lots of very creamy foam. The aroma is slightly grassy, with some mild lemon citrus. The nitro makes the mouth feel very creamy and smooth, but the flavor is so mild that there isn’t much to talk about. The sweet malt common to most wheat beers is hinted at, and the finish is a watery, beaten-down hop.
I haven't had a ton of great beer from Brooklyn Brewery, but during a recent mix-and-match I decided to go heavy on this brewery and get a better idea of what they're all about. Defender IPA makes me think this was a good idea. This IPA pours copper color with average carbonation and head. The aroma is dominated by a bright, strong hop character. Pine, floral notes, hay. More of a toasty malt backbone than I’d have expected on the flavor, which is a good thing. This beer doesn’t curb any corners, it’s rich, smooth, and very bitter. I liked it a lot.
I also enjoyed Brooklyn's Brown Ale. In fact, I enjoyed it more than I had expected to. This beer pours dark brown with a fast-fading head. The aroma is walnuts, light molasses notes, some nutmeg. The flavor is cereal and bread malts, a little bit of hop burn, and very subtle candy glaze on the finish. One of my favorite Trader Joe's beers is Mission Street Brown Ale. This is similar, but more complex, and with a bigger finish. Nice.
Brooklyn's East IPA isn't bad, but I didn't like it as much as the Defender IPA reviewed above. This one pours a slightly cloudy orange with average head and carbonation. The aroma is sweet. Tangerines, buttered popcorn, a little bit of yeast. The flavor backs the sweetness down just a little in favor of lemony hops and a dry finish.