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Flat12 Bierwerks Joe Brahma

Due to unfortunate (for him) circumstances, Andy was unable to enjoy this little gem that he brought back from Indianapolis, which meant… More (all) for me! You may have also enjoyed this yourself if you were early enough to The Beer Is Good at Fiddler’s Hearth on the 5th.

Style: Brown Ale/Milk Stout hybrid
Brewery: Flat12 Bierwerks
Package: Growler into pint glass (Note: I drank this shortly after it was purchased, but am just getting around to posting about it. No stale beer was consumed here.)
ABV: 5.1%
IBUs: 28.5%

From Flat12’s description:
A Brown Ale/Milk Stout hybrid with a dose of Nicaraguan Coffee.
-Lactose added to balance the acidity of the coffee.
-Smooth and easy going down just like your favorite morning cup of Joe.
Appearance: Chocolate brown that is dark ruby when held up to light. One finger of very creamy, tanned head that, despite it’s initial thick appearance, disappeared quickly. (This was more apparent on tap than from growler. I had a sloppy and poor pour from the growler.) Tiny bit of lace webbing left on glass.

Aroma: Fairly heavily creamed coffee. A little sweet malt. Overall aroma was very subtle and I didn’t get much from it.

Taste: Cocoa (more so when colder) and coffee (more so as it warmed). Hints of earthiness. Bitter at the end, but also sweet from the lactose. Robust flavor, while managing to not be overwhelming. Very pleasant, rich aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel: A tad north of medium bodied. Velvety and creamy. Coats the mouth well, but with a silky coating that slides right down. Very low carbonation. (Again, could have been the growler. It was more noticeable on tap the weekend before.)

Overall: Pretty sure I’ve never encountered another brew billed as a brown ale/milk stout hybrid. (With coffee!) Still, I’m sure there are other brands out there that are similar in taste, if not style. However, if they’re even half as good as Joe Brahma is, then the world would be a better place. This is a phenomenal example of how to make an outstanding smelling, tasting, and overall drinkable beer. It’s amazing how much flavor is packed into this at a mere, sessionable 5.1%. I could, and did, and would again, drink the entire growler in a sitting. Now if only we still had that growler of Flat12’s Bleeding Heart IPA…

Grade: A

Bonus info: No intangible for this review. It’s just a growler. Therein lies this interesting factoid: Growlers aren’t the only vessel that Flat12 offers to take your beer home from the taproom in. They also sell the “bullet bottle” for which they were featured on craftbeer.com in an article about growler advancements. (Picture in link.) It’s a 32 ounce plastic bottle with the benefits of costing the consumer less, is easier to transport, and can be taken into venues where glass isn’t allowed!

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