I decided to redeem the Binny’s gift card I received for Christmas and headed out to the friendly town of Plainfield. Just across the Plainfield city limits, I turned and made my way to the Chicago Brew Werks homebrew shop where I picked up a case of twelve 500ml Grolsch style flip-cap bottles for my next batch of Skeeter Pee. The bar at Brew Werks was busy and quite a few patrons were drinking and browsing the grain racks on this beautiful 55° Saturday.
I had wanted to get this trek over with as soon as possible so I was back on the road as soon as I made it out to my truck. Binny’s was about another 15 minutes down the road.
I snagged a primo parking spot right near the front doors and grabbed a cart. I didn’t know how much the gift card was worth. I went over to the service counter and the lady scanned the UPC and stated, “Fifty bucks.” I was elated.
I was in the mood for some Belgian beer and headed in that direction. Two four-packs of Don De Dieu and two 750s of Allagash Sixteen Counties damn near ate up the gift card’s worth. There was $6 and change remaining on the card. Enough left for a jar of the Ethiopian olives or pickled herring on display at the checkout counter. Not for me. I was back on the road in no time.
Allagash Sixteen Counties is a Belgian style yellow beer brewed with 100% Maine sourced ingredients. Read what Allagash says about this beer. Everything is nicely outlined. Maine only has 16 counties in the whole state while Illinois has 102. We’re #7 on the list of states with the most counties. But you have to admire a state that has named some of their counties Androscoggin, Piscataquis, Aroostook and Sagadahoc. Couldn’t think up better names m’seff. They even have a video song.
Let’s get down to the business of drinking some beer.
The beer poured with a hazy yellow color bringing up a huge head of thick white foam just like all the other good, yellow Belgian beers. The aroma had that zestiness of yellow citrus rind and it will be hard for me to make a distinction between a tripel, a saison and any other yellow Belgian beer. Styles be damned.
The first sip shared characteristics of the aforementioned beer styles, but I’ll be damned if I can pinpoint exactly which style this is. Medium mouthfeel, a nice spicy zest and a subdued finish.
There was no hop presence but the malts play a secret role in the taste. It’s like it’s there and then it’s not. It comes in tasting slightly cakey but then gets washed over by the citrus zest. I feel this was an excellent take on those yellow Belgian style beers. No banana or clove in this one, so I guess the tripel style is disqualified.
The yellow Belgian beers are my weakness. I love the slight fruity zestiness and the zing it gives the palate. Ommegang Hennepin, Unibroue La Fin Du Monde (the end of the world.) Their Don De Dieu (gift of God) is my personal favorite. A Tout Le Monde (to all the world, in conjunction with the Megadeath song) I find a bit too sharp but still quite drinkable. I always have some Allagash White in the fridge somewhere. But tonight, in lieu of Allagash White, I have some Hacker Pschorr Weiss (my gateway beer.) All very similar. All very yellow.
We all have our favorites. Some guys are hop heads while others look for the heavy roasted stouts. Then there are the weenies who love sour beer. I still can’t believe that. Lagers and pilsners pretty much taste the same to me so I don’t bother with either except during Oktoberfest. The best lager I’ve ever had was DFH’s Beer Thousand. Unbelievably delicious. Still remember it. The BMC crowd don’t know what they’re missing.
I seem to have gone off on a tangent. But we were talking about beer. Allagash has established itself as a reputable brewery and of the beers I’ve tried from them, they were all absolutely delicious. Sixteen Counties is no different. Don’t be a weenie. You should try some for yourself.
Style: Belgian blonde/pale ale/saison Look up Belgian styles. It’s all the yellow ones.
Taste: Mystery malts play nice with the fruity zest.
Smoothness: Easy going down.
Bang for the buck: Good.
Amount paid: $8.99 per 750 ml bottle.
Get it again? Yes. Hope it comes in cans someday.
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: (Sniff) Lemony? (sip) A little citrus… That’s not bad. (sip) That’s a 90 degree mowin’ the lawn beer. (sip) It’s not cold enough. I like it. (Yesss! I’ll plan a surprise for her this coming July.)
Talk like a Mainer: “Ayuh” [1:28]