Thursday, April 28, 2011

St. Boisterous Hellerbock (Victory Brewing Company)

So, my friend and former coworker, Kelly, left to work in the PR department at Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, PA. She is truly a Good Kid® and I was very sorry to see her go, but excited that she will be working for a great craft brewery with an impressive line of beers. I have no doubt that her fun, smart energy and methodical work will to boost the company to even greater success.

Once she started her new gig, Kelly generously sent me a sampler of Victory products, and I will be posting reviews here as I make my way through them. I'll start with the seasonal offering, St. Boisterous Hellerbock, which I have never had before. (I've drunk and enjoyed Victory's Hop Devil, Golden Monkey, and Yakima Glory -- the last of which was also included in this sampler and which I will review shortly.)

I poured the beer into a pint tumbler. There arose a slightly spicy floral hops nose with a bit of grain sneaking through. The beer is a beautiful bright yellow-gold and crystal clear. There was a quarter inch of tight-bubbled head that left a small amount of oily lacing.

From my first sip I was impressed by the wonderfully complex flavor. After a ping of carbonation, you're straight into a sweet malt that drops into fruitiness far richer than expected from a beer of this color. It is almost the body of an amber ale -- dimensions beyond what I consider typical of a lager. Also present is a peppery spiciness, suggestive of well-integrated hops and also maybe a contribution from the yeast. Then the flavor drops off suddenly into an surprisingly clean finish. Very nice contour.

This hellerbock combines the bright, somewhat superficial qualities of a pilsner with a slightly deeper malt profile and even some of the richer, yeast-derived aspects of a Belgian pale ale. The combination of complexity and abruptness of finish combine to make St. Boisterous a highly sessionable brew, with each sip demanding another. I heartily recommend this beer and will be looking for it every spring.

From the bottle's label:
The harbinger of Spring, our St. Boisterous is a refreshing draft of warmth and pleasure. Brewed in the Bavarian hellerbock style, this robust lager can seduce any soul with its exuberant character. Honest and sweet at heart, this well-seasoned brew is the product of flavorful German malts and whole flower European hops. Rich and golden in color, this celebratory beer brings with it the warmth of Spring, and the promise of glorious summer sun. Savor the good St. Boisterous!
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  1. A picture of each reviewed beer in glassware might be nice. Simply a suggestion. Keep 'em coming!

  2. I realized after I had drained four or five of the beers in my "to be reviewed" queue that I had neglected to take pictures of the bottles, a la the "Foamy Furlough" series. I agree that is adds a nice touch -- especially if I can get the bottle *and* the poured beer. Something to shoot for.