Briar Creek Towhead Ale | Sand Creek Brewing Company

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Very Good
2 Ratings

Brewed by:
Sand Creek Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BuckeyeNation on 09-06-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 2 |  Reviews: 2
Photo of mdwalsh
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Large, 3 finger white, white head on top of a slightly hazy pale golden beer. The head has a lot of texture and is fed by decent active carbonation, but it still falls down pretty quick. Very nice lacing as well. But still, the mild haze gives it a sort of lack-luster appearance. The lacing is really very nice. 4

S: There is a good hop aroma, mostly some slightly earthly English style hops I would guess. There is also a fairly strong yeast smell that is showing up a little too much for my liking. Malt, at least with any character, really doesn't make an appearance. It smells a little sweet. 3.5

T: The taste is mildly creamy, and actually pretty rich for what I expected from the appearance. Hops really make no showing in the taste, and the malt comes forward more. Perhaps a touch of vanilla. A really smooth tasting beer with really nothing that could possibly offend, except maybe that it has nothing to offend with, and is therefore bland and boring. The flavors just don't jump out enough. 3.5

M: Very rich and creamy, a much bigger beer than I expected. Very smooth, it could use a bit more biting hops though. 4

D: Very drinkable, until or unless you get bored of it unfortunately. 4

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Though honey is sweet, do not lick it off a briar."

--Irish saying

Lemon yellow with a swirling cloud of fine yeast that adds visual interest. A good looking lid of sheep's wool white melts in fine fashion, laying down a respectable amount of lace as it does so.

Simply put, the beer smells like it looks. It's bright and fresh and lightly lemony. Blonde ale was the right choice. Then again, it does smell golden wheaty, so APWA might be valid as well.

It looks like Briar Creek Brewery of Janesville, IA doesn't physically exist. At least not to the extent that they are able to brew their own beer. As a result, Towhead Ale, their only offering, is currently contract brewed at Sand Creek. The short version of this review is that this brew is simple, but it also tasty and drinkable.

Style is still somewhat hard to pin down. It's obviously a primarily pale-malted ale, and doesn't seem like an APA, so blonde ale will have to do. There's a more than sufficient amount of lightly sweet cereal grain maltiness, along with a surprising amount of balancing hoppiness.

The hop bill isn't easy to identify (or guess at), since it isn't obviously citrusy or grassy. Closer to the latter, though. Again, this is one case in which simplicity is preferable to complexity. Golden grain and spicy-herbal-earthy hops are present in equal measure, which is as basic as good beer gets.

The mouthfeel deserves praise too. Plenty of malt gives it size and smoothness for the ABV (estimated at 5.5%), and the bubbles are spot-on. It even improves a little in the bottom half of the bottle.

When I spotted this beer on the shelf at John's Grocery this summer, I had no idea what to expect. It's obviously still fresh, which always helps, but Towhead Ale is one of the most pleasant surprises of the past several months. Here's hoping that Briar Creek Brewery gets their own facilities up and running soon... assuming that's the plan.

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Briar Creek Towhead Ale from Sand Creek Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 2 ratings
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