It's hard to believe that the McCall Brewing Company has been around for almost 20 years. Their brewpub is a must-visit if you find yourself near the shores of Payette Lake. It offers pub fare that's just the thing to match its hand-crafted brews, available on tap. But if you're like me (and don't get up to McCall much anymore), you can enjoy the 22-ounce bottled versions in the comfort of your own home. Here are three worth seeking out.
Lemon Ginger Hefeweizen, $4.99-$6.49
Both lemon zest and ginger are added to the boil in this hazy amber pour that has a two-finger head that collapses quickly. Citrus and spice come through on the nose, along with lightly herbal wheatgrass and soft malt. It's very refreshing, and at 4.6 percent alcohol, extremely quaffable, offering sweet malt balanced by ripe lemon and colored by smooth ginger. It's great for hot summer days.
Minimalist Bane IPA, $5.99-$7.99
A crystal-clear, copper-colored brew, this IPA is covered by a thick head that disappears after moments in the glass, leaving a lovely lacing. The aromas are a balanced mix of citrus-laced hops and subdued malt and grain. If you are used to the typical Northwest IPA--with its in-your-face hop bitterness--this one may seem a bit tame, but that can be a good thing. The combo of creamy malt, apricot and lightly bitter hops makes for an easy-drinking, very satisfying brew.
Wobbily Man Smoked Scotch, $5.99-$7.99
A deep ebony in color with a decent mocha head that holds on nicely, this brew offers up toasted malt aromas backed by chocolate and caramel. Full disclosure: I'm not a fan of the smoked beer style. That said, Wobbily Man, which is made with Bavarian Rauch malt, is surprisingly subdued in that department. Just an intriguing whiff of smoke backs the velvety sweet, earth-tinged malt. This beer is a rich, full-flavored hybrid.