Thursday, March 17, 2011

Brewery Review: Flatlanders Brewery - Lincolnshire, IL

This is probably the brewery I've visited the most in the suburbs since getting into beer. I first came here a couple times when I was younger and didn't even know they made beer in the first place. Then, this was the first brewery I went to the night I got home from Australia back in March of 2010. Since then I've been there numerous times, and have in fact rated their beer on several occasions. This review was recorded mid spring break at the Babble Homebrewers Competition that I had entered a couple beers/mead in. I didn't judge, but spent the afternoon there tasting, eating, and talking to a couple familiar faces from the QC who were actually judging that evening. This is what I thought of the beer:

Jackson Wit - Hazed with a subtle matted textural look to it. Highly carbonated. Foam white head with bubbles. Pale hay gold color. Pungent and bready with some spice (clove). Similarly a lemon character with an undertone of yeast rounds out for a phenolic finish. Reminiscent of Avery's White Rascal.
Grandpa's Golden Blonde - Brilliantly clear golden hue with a white head ring atop. Aroma is candied sugar and pilsner malt with a lager yeast overtone (though an ale). Lightly flavored for a more inclusive crowd. Minimal sweetness with some finishing Saaz/Hallertau hoppage.
Lincolnshire Lager - Clear straw. Bubbly head. Aggressive looking and feeling carbonation. Taste is spicy with a generous malt profile compared to the blonde. Some lemon and grainy elements along with fruitiness.
Blackberry Blonde - Pale straw with a white cream head. Little activity occurring within. Lightly fruity smelling with a bit of breadiness and citrus. Some strong crisp hopping and a zest spice. Light mouthfeel. 79/100
Steinhoff Stout - Dark dark brown. Poor head retention. Clearish to light with rubied hue. Malt smelling with strong caramel and some roasted barley. Fore taste is fine, but the beer maintains a deterring soured finish. Some dark fruit permeates with a note of berry tartness. Medium bodied. Some smokiness.
Buster's Brown Ale - Bronzed with a touch of red. Very fruity in smell with an underlying candied caramel backbone. Bubbly. Sweet, but balanced with finishing bittering hops. Still some tartness to the finish. Nice complementation of carbonation to the texture.
Brayden's Red - Deep amber color that is clear. Some visible bubbles from carbonation. White foam ring that sticks to side of glass. Smooth biscuit and toffee aroma. Hints of dark fruit and mild caramel in the taste. Appearance of some hops, but is in need of some more to balance the flavors.
Flatlanders IPA - Clear amber color with a foamy white head. Mild tropical hop element with a wealth of pine-like aroma. Fruit and apricots balance nicely with the malt. Not an overwhelming bitterness. Relatively simple beer that tastes pretty decent.
Chocolate Bock - Clear dark brown hue with a tan head. Sweet toasted smell is noticeable and notes of chocolate. Flavor is sort of a sweet toasted biscuit followed by a hint of spice. Some burnt quality in throughout the tasting.
Flatlanders is located Lincolnshire, IL, at a very large establishment consisting of a bar, bar room, brewery, and enormous dining room. The theme is wooden plank with a cross of modern and old-style architecture. From outside they the fermenters are the focal point of the building as they are projected out in a glass covered addition to the main building. The bar gets pretty loud at night, but a great quite place to go for a midafternoon lunch. They offer a variety of food items to complement the beers they serve. Although they have a great selection of innovative burgers and sandwiches, I was underwhelmed by the lack of vegetarian dishes and healthy choice meals. When I did eat meat, their burgers were exceptional, and their Jumbalaya was exquisite. However, Their tasting flight comes in a number of 5 and the glasses are in the shape of mini-Weiss beer glasses, but most notably they are underaccommodatingly small - worthy of a sip or two. A big draw back, . The service is fantastic but overall I felt their beer was sub par. As I've been here many times, they never really made an impression on me. Nevertheless I will continue to go back to check up and update the reviews.
Check them out:

Brewery Review: 39/50

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