Boise has a pretty vibrant beer scene and that includes a cadre of die-hard home brewers. With that in mind, Boise Co-op and the Ram Restaurant and Brewery have sponsored a competition to find the best home-brewed organic American-style pale ale being made in the valley. Some 18 intrepid artisans submitted their wares for judging, but the best part is all you beer lovers will have a chance to taste the entries. The event will be held at the Stonehouse Banquet Center (665 E. Park Blvd.) on the Boise River adjacent to the Ram, this Sunday, July 26, 5 to 8 p.m. The tariff is just 10 bucks and that gets you a taste of the beers along with a selection of food from the grill. Seems like a no-brainer, but in the meantime here are three brews from around the world that are a perfect fit for the summer heat.
With its crystal clear, golden color, frothy white head and sparkling carbonation, this Portuguese lager was a pleasant surprise. Light and refreshing with subtle malt, reserved hops and a smooth touch of sweet citrus, this is what any number of independent American brews tasted like before the big boys consolidated things by swallowing up all the locals. It's not a brew designed for contemplation, just one to enjoy on a hot summer's day.
Kulbacher Premium Pils Edelherb
This bright golden Bavarian Pils throws a thick frothy head that collapses quickly, but leaves a nice lace on the glass. Lightly herbaceous hop aromas are backed by a touch of pepper. A smooth and delicious quaff with grainy malt flavors plays nicely against the lightly bitter hops. It finishes with a crisp fruitiness and a very nice hit of mineral. This is utterly refreshing with a persistent string of tiny bubbles, and that mineral quality begs to be paired with fresh oysters.
Athenian Brewery Alfa Hellenic Beer
This one is another translucent beer with a thin but lasting head and moderate fizz. In terms of body and flavor, this Greek lager lies somewhere between the light Sagres and the fuller Kulmbacher. Nice herbal hop aromas are complemented by soft malt and fruit. The citrus flavors are matched by subtle hops and balanced by just sweet malt. It finishes with a kiss of bitterness and lingering notes of grass and spice.