Ever wonder what a beer would be like if it was brewed it by mixing several styles at once? Say, mix malts that are used in ales and lagers, through in hops that run the gamut too and then top it all off with a Pilsner yeast. The result is eclectic blend of flavors, styles and expectations. The beer is quest is Shmaltz Brewing's Coney Island Lager. The weird clown face on the label is quite appropriate for this beer. Several of us tried it last Friday and there seemed to be very middle ground on this one. I was in the like it camp, while others disliked it out right. The very thing that makes it interesting is the very thing some dislike about it; it's blending of styles. One may either view this beer as a good attempt at blending or see it as a beer that has no identity. It is one I would drink again.
Tonight also marks a sanity check on the abbey ale. Based on a recipe from Cat's Meow 3 that claims to be a Chimay clone, I converted to extract and played with it a bit. The pour is a bit low in carbonation, but it has only been in the bottle a week. The smell is right on as well. Mid is good with a hint of an alcohol bite. At bottling, the gravity difference estimated the ABV to be 9.2%. As it ages, this might increase a bit. The weak part is the yeast esters. I used a Canadian/Belgian yeast. It has some Belgian character, but not quite enough. The finish has a hint of hops, but not much. That should tone down as the beer ages. This is one definitely goes in the "let's develop it a bit more" column.