Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Bruery's Autumn Maple - A Sweet Seasonal Beer with a Surprise

I’ve waited long enough. The weather is as autumnal as it gets:  warm in the sun and chilly in the shade.  I've been drinking brown ales since the first hint of fall.  Now it's time for what I hope is the best beer of the season.  I get home from work, do a quick workout, so I don’t feel guilty about drinking this wine size bottle by myself, and retrieve the Autumn Maple from the back of my frig.  The afternoon sun is at the perfect angle for photos.  So I pose the bottle next to pumpkins, leaves and anything else I can find that lets you know what a perfect fall day it is.  My wife thinks I have a problem because I photograph beer bottles so much. (I hope the neighbors didn’t see me lying on the lawn trying to get the perfect shot.)

I open the bottle while sitting on my deck in the sun.  This Belgian style brown ale from The Brurey in Orange County, CA is made with yams, molasses and maple syrup.  It pours a reddish brown with a thin head that sticks around for a while.  Holding the glass to my admittedly weak nose, I can pick up a strong caramel scent but no maple yet.  The bottle recommends that it is served at 50 degrees, which may seem a little warm to you.  I thought so too until I started drinking brown ales which improve the longer they sit in the glass.  As it warms, more interesting aromas come forth.  Now I’m finally smelling that maple.

First sip: malty and sweet.  After swallowing,  the maple syrup comes through and it sits on the back of my tongue.  I think I detect coriander that I’ve tasted in other Belgian ales.  I’m really enjoying this beer.  It has as good a taste as any brown ale I have had.  The 10% ABV is on the high side, but the flavor more than masks any hint of alcohol in this brew.   However, I do feel the need to open a box of crackers to “clean my palate” and fill my stomach, just in case I’ve got anything else productive to do tonight.

As I get close to end of the bottle I notice another recommendation on the label:  “Please pour carefully, leaving the yeast sediment behind in the bottle.”  You may think this a waste of good beer, but believe me it is good advice.  I pour out the last ounce or so into a small glass to take a look at this yeast. It looks harmless enough and it smells like a syrupy pancake breakfast.  So I down it without thinking too much about it. . .

I was no worse for the wear until I went to bed and got a little surprise.  Those little yeasties started to rumble in my tummy.  It seems that The Bruery people were trying to warn me that drinking the sediment at the bottom of the bottle can cause gas!@!  It wasn’t terrible enough for my wife to divorce me, but she was questioning if I should be drinking so many different types of beer.  I agreed and said that I would take a little time off from drinking unique beers . . .  until the weekend.


  1. I better read the bottles more carefully. That certainly explains some "episodes: ;-)

  2. Where did you find this, especially this late in the season?

  3. Tom, I see you have had the same experience.
    Anon, I found it at cable Bev in Bardonia NY. $12 per bottle.

  4. Well, at least you experienced drinking different kinds of beer. It's all worth it even though you ended having a rumble in your tummy.

  5. @Water Glasses, It definitely was worth it! Thanks for the comment.

  6. $12 pretty good. I got it for $15 @ Whole Foods (back in september) I waited for years to try this beer, and I have to say I was kinda disappointed with it. I know its a high ABV brew, but I thought the alcohol flavors really overwhelmed everything else. I'm skipping it next year.

    It did manage to help me get through my Thanksgiving dinner seated next to my Mother-In-Law, so it wasn't a total loss!!!

  7. Scott, I too felt the alcohol in this one. However, I felt the sweetness helped mask it for me. Nice strategy for getting through Turkey day with MIL. LOL.