Friday, January 25, 2013

Beer Review: Fixed Gear American Red Ale (Lakefront)

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Today I'm drinking a beer that shares its name with a style of bicycles that's become quite notorious. It seems folks are either fanatical about riding fixed gear bikes or they have a disdain for the bikes and their owners. As a neutral fan of any method of transportation that isn't a personal automobile, I feel Lakefront's stellar red ale could appeal to folks on either side.

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The beer pours a rich red, true to its name, with a very thin head. This beer carries a scent that is heavily floral, although I'd be hard pressed to name a specific flower.  I can definitely smell some honeysuckle and orange. The beer drinks as smoothly and sweetly as it smells, with a slight bitterness typical of beers with moderate amounts of hops, but it doesn't quite live up to its claims of being bold or having attitude. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but don't expect this to be a beer that kicks your teeth in or turns off fans of smoother beers. This beer is more likely to cruise by on a single-speed bike and entice your taste buds with its smoothness. The only bold or particularly edgy aspect is the slight dryness of this beer, which I find to be another appealing aspect rather than a dangerous selling point.

Whether you're a grizzled beer connoisseur who feels my reviews are amateur in nature (spoiler: they are), or a newcomer visiting for a recommendation, this is an excellent red ale to start off with. While others have a more bitter or challenging flavor, this beer has the perfect balance of typical red ale features and palate-friendly smoothness to win over pretty much anybody. If you're a beer veteran, a six-pack is a wise investment, as these are incredibly drinkable. If you're a fresh drinker or perhaps not fully sold, grab a single bottle and sip slowly to get accustomed to its taste. You'll be a convert, I'm sure of it.

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