When somebody asks in May to hang out and you have to tell them all your weekends are booked from now through August, you know you have a fantastic summer ahead of you. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t ALL been beer related (I threw some winery hopping in there), but it’s pretty darn close. I was on vacation the past couple weeks, which included events such as: a Gary Clark Jr concert, 8 wineries, 3 breweries, two Indians games, two beer fests, and legit buckets of beer (literally a gallon bucket filled with tap beer). I’m lucky in the fact that I have a job that gives me this much time off to play. And as a side note, I did google “how much wine can you transport across state lines” before coming home. If it’s summer and you have a boat, know someone with a boat, want to know someone with a boat, or just like to have a good time, head to Put in Bay, Ohio. Not only does it have about 30 bars on the less than 3 mile long island, but that includes the world’s longest bar AND largest swim up bar. If you don’t end up
with an empty beer bucket on your head by the end of the night, you are not truly living.
For my “beer fest of the month” I doubled down, heading to the annual Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, Michigan and then the Milwaukee Brewfest on the 30th. The Summer Beer festival was my favorite, but that might be because many of the breweries/beers were new to me. It was also put on by the Michigan Brewers Guild and many of the actual brewers were at the event. The Milwaukee Brewfest has an amazing location on the Lake Michigan, but I wasn’t finding a lot of new and/or limited release beers. The Milwaukee Brewfest is not a Brewers Guild event, so not many owners/brewers were there, but one I was really happy to see was Bryan from Next Door Brewing. I wanted to know how the new patio was working out, and if he
brought the revamped Mutha Pucka. He didn’t have the Pineapple Sour Blonde on tap, but said it would be at the Great Taste (you can also get it at the brewery and in bombers).
Mutha Pucka has been a seasonal for Next Door the past couple years. The good news is it gets better every time it’s released or the formula gets tweaked, the bad news is it’s only here for a limited time. When it was first sold this year, I remember thinking, “this is good, but I’m not getting the pineapple”. Talked to some people on the inside, and BAM, next batch has more pineapple. I’m sure the actual decision to modify the recipe had about 0% to do with me, but I guess I can take the credit. Unless you liked the first batch better, then it definitely had nothing to do with me.
I was first inspired to review Mutha Pucka after I was heading into the Madison airport and saw this:
Now, I am the type of person that packs snacks before a toothbrush, so I get it, but a
pineapple?! Really people?! Or, how did you park your car, walk all the up to the entrance of the airport, and then realize you were still carrying a pineapple? AND THEN, decide to leave it? I’ve personally been in a scuffle with the TSA over an apple, so I know the fruit laws, and I’m pretty sure they could have taken this with them. Hell, my apple went to Puerto Rico, then on a cruise, and I didn’t get interrogated until I was trying to come BACK to the US. (P.S. I’ve been on “the list” ever since and always get extra screening. So chose your battles wisely.) Anyways, I digress.
Mutha Pucka is a pineapple sour blonde ale that comes in at 6.7% ABC and 15 IBUs. It’s kettle soured and then Pineapple juice is added to secondary fermentation and dry hopped with Hallertau Blanc. It pours a hazy straw color with a 2 cm head. It has a subtle sweet pineapple nose that comes through more in the aroma than taste (even after the second batch). It is lightly carbonated and is tart but not overly sour. Mutha Pucka is refreshing and easy to drink if you aren’t at the vinegar bomb level of sour drinking yet. I know my 22oz bomber went down more like a 16oz pint. The summer heat is not slowing down so go check out the new patio at Next Door and have a pint before it’s gone.
Pineapple Sour Blonde Ale, available on tap and in bombers
Rating: 3.7 pieces of delicious TSA confiscated fruit
How do you like them apples?