Tag Archives: Hinterland

New Brew: Hinterland Oktoberfest

16 Sep

As Matt (colleague over at Madison Beer Review) posted last week in his Friday Links (which spawned a brief discussion in the comments section), it did seem as though the Oktoberfest beers were out on shelves and on-tap in our favorite bars earlier than ever this year.  Maybe it was just the late summer heat clouding our memories and confusing our internal calendars.  Either way, Oktoberfests are here to stay for the next couple of months as a favorite fall seasonal in the German heritage-heavy Upper Midwest.  Wisconsin brewers do a predictably good job with the style in general with New Glarus’ Staghorn (currently The Old Fashioned’s $2.50/pint beer of the month for September), Capital’s Oktoberfest, Tyranena’s Gemuetlichkeit (Gesundheit?!), and Central Waters’ Octoberfest some of my favorite local examples year in and year out.

A new (re-)entry into the Madison market this year, Green Bay Brewing Company’s Hinterland brand has made impressive in-roads with its novel packaging (German-style 16-ounce pints in 4-packs) and tap-lines, creating an admirable line-up including its much-beloved Luna Stout as well as Pale Ale, Amber, Cherry Wheat and Maple Bock.  Oktoberfest debuts as their fall seasonal, a fitting tribute to its German roots.  As the days get noticeably shorter, the air catches a chill and weekend mornings and afternoons become dominated by football, the rich maltiness and smooth drinkability of Oktoberfestbier can hardly be beat.

Hinterland Oktoberfest

Style: Oktoberfest/Märzen

Vitals: n/a; Hinterland’s beers are woefully underdocumented on the innerwebs.

Company line: “Lightly filtered, deep golden brown, very malty and lightly hopped. Velvet smooth mouthfeel with rich grainy flavorhinterlandbeer.com”

My take: pours a light golden amber under a loose, foamy head that quickly fizzles to a spotty film.  Aroma is rich with caramel and bready malts, lightly nutty, with a dash of herbal hops and a faint metallic whiff.  Palate is malt-heavy, per the style with layers of caramel, biscuit, and grain husk  on the mid-palate offset by an apt touch of slightly grassy hops that carry through on the finish.  Starts off full-bodied and finishes light and crisp, encouraging sessionability.

Another fine example of the venerable style to add to a solid Wisconsin roster.  Hinterland is quickly becoming a welcome addition to the local beer scene with a growing line-up of well-made beers that do the Fox Valley and Wisconsin as a whole proud.  Whether you can boast German heritage or not (REINke in the house, y’all!), the beers of Oktoberfest make the impending deep freeze all the more bearable and are one more reason why autumn, however brief an appearance it makes ’round these parts, is my favorite season in Wisconsin.

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New Brew: Hinterland Luna Coffee Stout

10 May

A welcome trend in the past year or so has been a steady stream of new beer from the Northwoods making its way in draft and bottled form into Southern Wisconsin.  From O’so to Red Eye to Bull Falls, enterprising Up Nort’ brewers are packaging their wares for the discriminating palates of we city-folk to their South.  While Green Bay Brewing Company’s Hinterland label has been available in bottles for several years now (albeit, just their Pale Ale which was apparently contract-brewed and bottled at Gray’s in Janesville), they have recently expanded their production (and added their own bottling line) to their much-praised Luna Coffee Stout, and in a new 16 ounce form factor, no less.  The Old Fashioned here in Madison has been instrumental in getting NorWis beer in the hands of eager Madisonians.  Here’s to the continued exodus of tasty suds from our Northern bretherin.

Hinterland Luna Coffee Stout

Style: Coffee

Vitals: Very little documented.  Made with coffee from the Fox Valley/Door County’s own Luna Cafe.

Company line: “Opaque, black, coffee-like character. Very creamy, extremely clean and refreshing. -hinterlandbeer.com”

My take: Stoutly in appearance with ample  crema-toned head that fades quickly.  Smells like a cup of strong day-old coffee with a hint of vanilla and a whiff of brisk hops.  Smooth coffee rules the palate as well, contributing to the French-roasted malt and hoppy bitterness. A noticeable metallic edge detracts somewhat.  Body is on the thin side, lending drinkability.  Not nearly as bold and full as Central Waters’ Brewhouse Coffee Stout, but its smoothness and ample sessionability keep it worthy in the eyes of this coffee-drinking beer-lover/beer-drinking coffee-lover.

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