Friday, January 16, 2015

Dubbel Czech – MobCraft Beer and Badger State Brewing

                After meeting at a few beerfests and instantly striking up a friendship, the founders of Mobcraft Beer and BadgerState Brewing thought it would probably be a good idea to brew a collaborative beer together at some point in the future.  This past fall they got together and thought it would be fun to launch a Packer’s themed beer, Badger State Brewing is only a couple blocks away from Lambeau Field after all, and launch it during a Packers game.  From those noble beginnings, Dubbel Czech was brewed and released in time for the Packers final regular season home game against the Lions on December 28th.  I have long since made it part of my pre-Packers game ritual to stop by Badger State on my way to Lambeau Field for Packers home games and was pleasantly surprised to walk into the brewery and also be walking into a beer release party.  I immediately ordered a couple pints of Dubbel Czech at the bar and went back later to buy a couple bottles.

                With the NFC Championship game coming up this weekend, what better beer to drink during the game than a Packers themed beer produced by the collaborative team of Mobcraft Beer and Badger State Brewing.  The beer, Dubbel Czech is a mashup of two excellent beer styles, a Belgian Dubbel, and a Czech Pilsner.  You might be thinking, “wait… isn’t that Czech Pilsner thing what Budweiser, Coors, and Miller have been claiming to sell all this time?”  First off no, and second, not even close, but I will get to that some other time; believe it or not a good Czech Pilsner actually pretty flavorful.  Let’s move on for now and double back at some point in the future.  Belgian Dubbels are complex, malty and sweet with fruity Belgian esters of raisins, plums, dried cherries, and apples; many of which come from the dark malts and Dark Belgian candi sugar that gives a Dubbel its characteristic color.  Czech Pilsners on the other hand have a rich pilsner malt character that can come across as grainy or Graham cracker-like with soft, rounded floral or spicy hops.  A fusion of the two, well, there is only one way to find out.

                Back to the beer, the name Dubbel Czech is in reference to a famous Championship Belt celebratory move by none other than Aaron Rodgers, which became the Discount Double Check in the now famous State Farm Discount Double Check commercials.  By the way, if you are unfamiliar with the commercials, by all means check them out because they are pretty hilarious!  The player on the Dubbel Czech label, well that could be anyone with the greyed out visor but I choose to believe that it’s my favorite QB doing both a Lambeau Leap and his signature celebratory move.  However to avoid any potential lawsuits the guys just decided to make him a generic Packers-themed player.  Interestingly enough, on either side of the player are the owners of the two breweries.  From left to right on the Badger State side is Sam, Mike, and Andrew; with Mike holding the Badger State sign.  On the other side from left to right (and I really hope I am getting this right) are Giotto, Andrew, and Henry.  The label is a great testament to the two breweries and my favorite football team!

                On to the review, Dubbel Czech does not currently have a score on either Beeradvocate or ratebeer.

They Say:

                Ahh, collaboration!  After meeting at a few beer festivals and realizing we had a lot in common (three founders in their mid-20’s, brewing beer and loving it), we decided to put our heads together and brew an awesome beer to launch on a Sunday afternoon in Green Bay, WI!  This Blond Dubbel features the classic Belgian yeast character on a bed of pilsner and abbey malts with Czech noble hops for a malty, golden colored ale that finishes with earthy hop notes.

I Say:
                Dubbel Czech pours a crystal clear reddish amber with a creamy moderately thick eggshell (off-white) colored head that holds excellent retention, lasting through almost the entire glass.  The thick creamy head leaves heavy lacing behind in the glass, which is of course a good thing.  Sweet pilsner malts come to the forefront in the aroma with their characteristic delicate grainy breadiness.  Belgian yeast esters blend into the aroma contributing notes of overripe pears, and golden raisins which match well with earthy, herbal, floral, and slightly spicy hops.  Subtle notes of bubblegum round out the perceptibly sweet aroma, indicating that this brew, like the offerings of both Mobcraft and Badger State is remarkably complex and welcoming.

                Slightly grainy pilsner malts lead in the flavor with a subtle, sweet note of honey backing them up.  Pear and golden raisin esters blend with herbal, floral, and earthy hops, adding additional depth to the flavor profile, and greatly increasing the complexity of the beer.  Slight spicy phenolics linger on the edges as the beer warms, although they are undetectable through most of the glass.  There is a slight sweetness with notes of pear and raisins in the finish, transition to a slightly grainy and herbal aftertaste.  Moderately malty with moderately high hop bitterness, Dubbel Czech is a little closer to the Chzech Pilsner side of the blending than the Belgian Dubbel, at least on the hopping frequencies.  With a medium body and a moderate level of carbonation, it comes in right where a blending of the two styles should be.

                Dubbel Czech is a great blending of a Czech Pilsner and Belgian Dubbel!  The guys at both Mobcraft and Badger State have some serious brewing acumen, doing some interesting mashups and just having an amazingly drinkable product.  And yes, I am still moving forward with my ever persistent campaign to reclaim the word drinkability to have it be applied to beers and beer styles that are actually worth of the label.  Great craft beer, like Dubbel Czech, embodies what drinkability should stand for, something that can be enjoyed without getting trashed on the first sip.  It is malty, fruity, and appropriately hoppy; this beer is the definition of drinkability.

                Be sure to pick up a bottle or two if you can still find them to enjoy during the NFC Championship game!  That’s all for today, be sure to check back soon for my next review!

                Happy Drinking, and remember to always Drink Wisconsinbly!

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