Really Eating Real Food

Beer Review: Dry Dock Brewing – H.M.S. Victory ESB

I’ve not reviewed beer before and I’m not that experienced in my drinking of beer.  I will say this: as a Christian I’m not interested in getting drunk, but I do want to explore the culinary aspects of beer.  With that in mind I’m going to review some beers (and various beverages) as time allows.

There are a few aspects of any food or drink that I think matter to the general sense of quality.  For me I’m a craft beer consumer.  I don’t have any interest in ‘lite’ beers, nor do I have any interest in beers that are cheap (for consumption reasons).  I live in Colorado which has a large number of craft breweries and one of them, Dry Dock, is a few blocks from my house.  Their beers have been tasty so far and I can buy a 64 ounce growler to take home for around $10.00 a growler.  The H.M.S. Victory happened to be $8.00 (with a pre-purchased glass growler, which I believe is $4.00 when you buy your first growler).  The brewery is right next to a brewing supply store.  In fact I can walk between the brewing supply store and the brewery/bar as they’re in the same large room (divided by law, accordingly).  Since they have the supply store I feel that there is a general quality to their products that I just can’t get from Coors, another Colorado-ish brewery.

Here are some of the qualities:

On the Eyes: dark caramel brown.  Not as dark as a stout, but definitely not a pale ale.

On the Nose: Yeasty (yes, I know beer is yeasty, but I smell yeast), caramel, molasses

On the Tongue: Malty, nutty, and a bit sweet (but not as sweet as I expected with the nose).  This has a sharp finish without feeling bitter like some lighter beers.

This beer tastes like it would pair amazingly with a juicy hamburger.  Something with a nice slab of extra sharp cheddar cheese on it and a nice egg bun and crisp iceberg lettuce.  Alternatively I think smoked chicken might play off the slightly salty aspects of the malty flavors.

This beer reminds me of a darker, sweeter batch of 90 schilling ale from O’Dell brewing.  I really enjoy it and plan on sharing a growler with some company that is coming this weekend.  This beer comes recommended for those who want to explore local beers in the Denver area, and like darker beers.

The bitterness of this beer is not apparent with the first couple sips, but after a few minutes the hops cut into your palette and the bitterness shows up.  I don’t consider this a distraction, but instead it fits in with the yeasty, pretzel-like flavors on the nose.

Description from the Brewery:

This amber ale has a rich toasty and bready character with moderate English hop bitterness.

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