Another Friday beer run in town, this time to the Dark green walled yet beer cooler rich establishment of the Four Seasons Beer Store. I perused the shelf three times and came up empty headed. I glance through the cooler. Man, they got a lotta beers in there. Still, I came up with nothing. I should come better prepared.
Then Barry came around from the side. “How are you doing?”
Yes, I’m fine. What would you recommend for a good tasting beer to review? He started stabbing with the back end of of a capless ballpoint pen, “There’s this,” “This.” “This.” “This is good beer.” He was jabbing at pale ales and IPAs, none of which I was in the mood for. Until he stabbed one that I hadn’t seen, and it was a style of beer I hadn’t had in a long time. It was a lager.
As Barry “This”-ed his way across the shelf, I interrupted and said that I’d take this lager. “Oh, that’s a very good beer.” Yeah OK. Ten bucks for a sixpack of Dynamo Copper Lager from the Metropolitan Brewing Co. out of Chicago. I paid the man at the register, thanked him and promised a printout of my review. We both “Have a nice day”-ed each other.
It wasn’t until I got on the Internet that I found out from the Metro Brewery website that it’s a brewery in its infancy. Three beer styles, a pilsner, a lager and a Kolsch. Maybe more. I can’t tell from their website just when they got established, but I have to give them a heap of credit for brewing beer in Chicago having a familiarity of how politics works there.
One thing certain is the labeling and artwork of the container and the bottles. It’s Art Deco, nicely rendered and spiffy. Yet spartan. There is no neck label. The tops of the bottles jut out all brown and full of beer. The bottle caps are plain gold. Only one little English blurb appears on the label:
A classic copper lager, gently twisted for your drinking pleasure, by craft beer’s obsequious minions. Wait no longer. Drink me now…
Nice. Now what’s that unfamiliar word?
And what the heck is a dynamo? Wikipedia knows. It’s a DC generator. Nice.
After a night of working in a warehouse which had the atmosphere of a second-story closet, I was glad to get home and throw open the Manly Garage at 11:35, turn on some lights, open some windows, prop open the service door and turn the fan on medium. I fired up the Mac, popped open a Dynamo and began this tale of taste.
The beer poured up with a beautiful copper color. How about that? Tons of large bubbles raced to the top just under a half-inch of creamy off-white foam. The aroma was of a nice, almost sweet beery scent. So far so good.
The first sip delivered a myriad of of tastes, each one of them delicious and delightful. This may be a little hard to explain. I see where I’m going to have to taste many sample sips of this beer to render an overall picture.
The first sensation was during the intake, the taking in of a quantity of beer from the glass into the mouth, that first sensation was of a rich body, a malty body. This was not my dad’s after-work beer. This beer had some malt moxie to it.
The second sensation was the sweetness after the malts hit town. How pleasant to have some little sweet tongue tweaking going on during each sip. The next were the caramels, or molasses twinges that hid behind some taste buds. These hiders gave this beer some real character. Then came the swallow with a very nice, crispness without the hop bitterness. Finally I received an old familiar taste. It was the taste I remember as a kid, taking a sip of my dad’s beer while he went to the bathroom. It was a beery beer taste. A vintage memory of the first tastes of beer.
By this paragraph, I was well into the second beer. I thought it was both amazing and sad at the same time time (simultaneously, etc.) that the temperature in the Manly Garage warmed up the beer rather quickly thereby causing me me to quicken my sippage as I typed. This beer as well, amazed me.
I tasted the lagering in the first sip. It was what brought me back to that sip snatching time of my childhood. But what amazed me now as an adult, was how much this beer tasted like an ale. Hmm. An ale with a lager hangover. There was a little bit of both in this beer. The malts were robust through every sip.
The slight bit of sweet at the front and the twinge of bitters on the side were two more acts to this five act play. Malty, sweet, caramel, crisp lager in an ale’s clothing. Shakespeare would be proud. I’m smiling as I write this.
This is like no other beer I’ve had so far. It’s two, two, two beers in one. It’s a lager and it’s an ale. And it’s also a Class A treat for the tongue. The malts and that tinge of caramel on the side are the trademarks of the beer to be sure. The sweetness will keep driving you back to the fridge for another one and the crispness will put the dot under the exclamation point at the swallow.
Dynamo Copper Lager is one of the best tasting lagers that I’ve had the pleasure to review and I’m so glad that their new brewery is less than a hundred miles away. There’s road trip potential there. This is a beer to have when you just feel like drinking beer. A beer to drink after supper. It’s a beer to experience. And drinking a beer named after a vintage DC generator puts a little more hair on my knuckles as it will yours. Maybe Tom Edison would’ve liked it.
Taste: A > There’s a whole lotta stuff going on in this beer.
Smoothness: A > Slick as a levitated ball bearing.
Drinkability: A > Smooth as a mercury coated quarter.
Bang for the buck: B+ > 10 bucks. 6 dynamo beers. Electricity in a bottle.
ABV: 5.8% or 5.6% depending.
Metropolitan Brewing Company
Dynamo – good luck following along.