Two Brothers Brewing Company
from United States (Illinois)
128th highest rated brewery (of 635)
Highest RatedAskew (87 / 100) Average score71 / 100 (Very Good)
Lowest RatedMoaten (56 / 100) Number Tried9
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 01.09.11 in bottle
76 / 100
Pours an orangey-amber colour, bit of translucent haze in the body. Head is off-white, tiny dense bubbles forming a thin film of lace. Not bad.

Smell is funkaholic with mega tartness. Oooh, loveleh. Lots of vinegar notes with a sugar-cream edge, notes of raspberry, spiced pear and honeyed yoghurt. Underripe apple and barnyard as well. Lovely melange, erring oddly on the sweet side, but all the more enjoyable for it.

Taste also has that creamy edge, starting with malty notes giving condensed-milk-caramel notes before quickly turning tart, giving me strong citric notes with lemon juice, cranberry and vinegar, touch of tamarind late-mid but it's still quite subdued and not overpowering at all. Sour, mostly, with a maybe unfortunate residual sweetness lingering towards the back but in spite of its unwantedness it does temper the tart finish. Pleasant beer.

A little bit puckering from the start, and really ends up with a bit too much drag. You can feel it long after it's exited the mouth.

A decent cleansing sour beer, but some finesse is lacking. Maybe an additive to drive the tartness in a particular direction, or some more malt for balance, would be welcomed.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Reviewed by Jez on 27.08.11 in bottle
87 / 100
375ml gueuze-style green bottle purchased from New Beer Distributors in New York. Brought back to Sydney to drink with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a slightly hazed and chunkily sediment-disturbed orange-gold, very similar to a gueuze in this regard, with a crackling and alive head of fine white bubbles. Lacing is stretchy and patchy. Decent body, but almost no visible carbonation, which is surprising.

Nose is sharp and astringent, with big bold acidic tartness. It's slightly like very acidic fruit juice, and less of the robust, funky, rubbery characters you get off a good gueuze, but it really reminds me more of the Belgian style sour beers than the duskier, fuller American Wilds.

Taste is actually very pleasant, without a big spike of acidity, but without the too-full slightly sweet body that can sometimes come from a half-assed AWA. Here we have a pleasantly tart fruit character, with a crisp finish and lovely light mouthfeel that sharpens and directs the flavour into all the right zones. Exceptionally smooth for the sharpness and tartness; it softens the palate while staying exceptionally drinkable and refreshing.

Awesome American Wild: probably fair to say the best I've had that didn't come from Russian River. The crisp drinkability and the directness of the acidity really hark back to the canonical Belgian lambics, but the smoothness on the palate gives it that vault into the new world.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 5.0
Hop Juice Double India Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 05.08.11 from cask
57 / 100
From cask at The Pony Bar in New York.

Pours an deep amber colour. Head is crackly and frothy, forming languidly from the hand-pump pour. Body is firm and fine, with no carbonation at all except the perturbation from the pump. Fine, however. Looks pretty good.

Nose is disappointing, I'll not deny it. Slow, soft marshmallowy malt character, with a hint of pine (the only mention of hops at all) and a touch of carbonic acidity. Very weak and very disappointing from and IPA, let alone a double.

Taste is similar. Although the cask conditioning makes it very smooth, this almost muffles the already underplayed and substandard hop characters. It's still clear and clean, with soft malts, a dried apricot sweetness and a tingle of bitterness, but not a huge amount. Feel is great, though, of course.

Eh, a very disappointing brew all up. I expected a lot more, I'm afraid.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Reviewed by Jez on 22.07.11 in bottle
56 / 100
Collaboration with Urthel? Flemish Red Ale? This beer had some living up to do!

Unfortunately, I was unimpressed from the get-go. For a start, despite the fact the cork was almost impossible to extract (I had to use a corkscrew in the end), it uncorks with hardly a sound, implying some very absent carbonation. Oh well, let's see where we go from here.

Pleasant hazy orange-brown, almost mahogany colour, with a sketchy head of off-white, that leaves a few streams of lacing up the edge of the glass. Fine carbonation and decent body. All up, it's not a bad looking Flanders red.

Nose is quite weak, but displaying some of the characters of a good example: a little oak, slight vegetative funk, a touch of acidity and some smooth vanilla characters. It's very weak, however, but they're nice aromas.

Taste, however, is very disappointing. Where the pleasant bite of acidity should be there's a metallic copper character and... well, almost nothing else. Apart from a very mild hint of astringency on the back, it's a very mild and unnuanced palate, almost drinking like a light beer. In some respects, that's not unpleasant, but in other respects, why bother?

Pretty bad Flanders Red Ale, but on the plus side, that makes it only an average beer, rather than actively unpleasant.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Bare Tree Weiss Wine Vintage 2008
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 28.01.10 in bottle
72 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours an orange-tinged gold colour with flecks of floaty in the glass, steady and consistent bead. Head is generous and white, medium-dense and leaving some nice trails of lace behind. Love it.

Nose is a little bit fruitier than I thought it would be. Lots of citrus on there, with lemon and tangerine prominent. Hints of passionfruit as well, and a touch of cakey malt. Actually a bit weaker than I would like, but fairly nice with good aroma blend.

Taste is a bit sour in fact, with a fair amount of fresh, if underripe, fruit, pervading. Some mild funk notes come through on the mid, providing some notes of cheese rind and leather that never overwhelms, or even really dominates, the palate, but provides a nice bitter-savoury character towards the end. Very refreshing and palatable beer, with good saison-brett kind of character (even though, yes, there's no brett in it) towards the end, but nice fresh fruitiness for the most part. Very decent.

A lot of texture, almost like it's repeating itself on my tongue, just keeps "being" something there. Potentially I think a bit over-fizzed.

Very pleasant beer. Thirst-quenchingly good for the most part and amazingly light flavour for how alcoholic it is. Slight cheese rind pong is the only drawback.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Bare Tree Weiss Wine Vintage 2008
Reviewed by Jez on 24.01.10 in bottle
75 / 100

Pours a slightly dull orange yellow colour, with some haze, and a filmy fine head of white foam. Lacing is really excellent, surprising, given that the head itself isn't particularly impressive. Body looks lovely and thick, and swirling leaves some truly wonderful static carbonation bubbles in the edge. Nice.

Big, rich and mature wheat notes on the nose. Lots of banana phenols, spicy clove and nutmeg, with characters of butter, toffee and general sweetness. The wheat note cuts through it all though, ensuring it doesn't get too cloying. Very nice.

There's notes of boozy alcohol present on the palate, but very little harshness, and the smooth if slightly acidic wheat characters ensures that these have a firm basis otherwise. There's something slightly metallic to it as well, and these clean notes leaven what would otherwise be quite boozy and quite heavy. Mouthfeel is a little light. It could be smoother, but it has a pleasantly spritzy carbonation that sets of the slightly citric notes on the palate.

Overall, a different style of wheatwine to what I've tried. If anything this really accentuates the wheat characters in it - the phenols, the light acidity the lighter body. It doesn't create something heavy and cloying. It's particularly impressive for how alcoholic it is - it stays surprisingly light and drinkable.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0