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Old 06-25-2008, 03:50 PM   #1
Kitchi Gumee
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Default Hey Yoopers: KBC PickAxe Blonde clone?

I noticed that the PickAxe Blonde made by Keweenaw Brewing Company is an ale...what kind of direction do they go in to get an ale that, to my unrefined tongue, seems like a much tastier version of BMC standard American lager? Any thoughts?

I guess I was under the impression that a beer of this character would just generally have to be a lager.

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Old 07-01-2008, 10:31 PM   #2
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My guess is that it's a clean fermenting ale yeast, at low ale temperatures. I have never actually tasted it, though.

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Old 07-01-2008, 10:51 PM   #3
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I've never had it either.

A Kölsch yeast perhaps?

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Old 02-16-2009, 08:00 PM   #4
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bump!

Im drinking one of these right now, my buddy brought back for me from his snowmobile trip up near Keewanaw. Nothing wrong with this beer at all. We are going to try to brew something similar for him (extract version) this week. After doing a brief search, it seems like it might be a Kolsch style beer.

Any more thoughts anyone? Yooper??

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Old 08-27-2010, 02:01 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kitchi Gumee View Post
I noticed that the PickAxe Blonde made by Keweenaw Brewing Company is an ale...what kind of direction do they go in to get an ale that, to my unrefined tongue, seems like a much tastier version of BMC standard American lager? Any thoughts?

I guess I was under the impression that a beer of this character would just generally have to be a lager.
It's an all 2-R pale malt bill, fermented with WLP001 CA ale. I won't give away the hops, but shoot for something with spicy or piney notes in very moderate proportions.


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bump!

Im drinking one of these right now, my buddy brought back for me from his snowmobile trip up near Keewanaw. Nothing wrong with this beer at all. We are going to try to brew something similar for him (extract version) this week. After doing a brief search, it seems like it might be a Kolsch style beer.

Any more thoughts anyone? Yooper??
Not a Koelsch, American Blond Ale. Pretty simple recipe, actually.

TB
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On tap:
1. Porter 2. Kentucky Common 3. IPA 4. Pils 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
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Secondary:
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About 58 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Imperial Bourbon Barrel Oatmeal Stout x2, Belgian Dubbel, German Pils (lagering), Oatmeal Blonde x2
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:42 AM   #6
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I just had one of these at dinner this evening at the Stonehouse in Escanaba. It was on tap. I gotta say I really didn't care for it. In fact, there's still a funky taste on my tongue. Maybe I just don't like that yeast. Gotta make sure I don't ever use it.

Sorry 'bout the not so hot review, but at least I learned something.

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Old 11-13-2010, 12:45 AM   #7
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I just had one of these at dinner this evening at the Stonehouse in Escanaba. It was on tap. I gotta say I really didn't care for it. In fact, there's still a funky taste on my tongue. Maybe I just don't like that yeast. Gotta make sure I don't ever use it.

Sorry 'bout the not so hot review, but at least I learned something.
I agree- the beer is really bad. I get that weird "funky" taste, too, out of it. It's a shame, because I really want to like their beers but every one of their beers is a bad example of the style I can't drink any of them, unfortunately. It's on tap all over here, and I really respect their business and I'd like to see them do well. I can't even get a glass down, though.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by hope2perc View Post
I just had one of these at dinner this evening at the Stonehouse in Escanaba. It was on tap. I gotta say I really didn't care for it. In fact, there's still a funky taste on my tongue. Maybe I just don't like that yeast. Gotta make sure I don't ever use it.

Sorry 'bout the not so hot review, but at least I learned something.
Yours is not an unusual one around here. For what it's worth, they use White Labs 001 California Ale yeast. In my opinion, though, they manage it poorly and pitch yeast that has undergone too many generations of fermentation. It's a shame, since when they first opened, the blonde was actually pretty good.

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I agree- the beer is really bad. I get that weird "funky" taste, too, out of it. It's a shame, because I really want to like their beers but every one of their beers is a bad example of the style I can't drink any of them, unfortunately. It's on tap all over here, and I really respect their business and I'd like to see them do well. I can't even get a glass down, though.
I hear ya. I really like the owners, manager, and brewer, but the beer has suffered quite a bit. It really is a shame, but people keep drinking it, so business is good. The brewer told me he's going to start brewing pilot batches, about 10 gal or so at a time, and experiment with higher ABV and new yeast strains that will be on tap exclusively in the taproom here in Ho-town. I will let you know how they are when I try them.

Hey, at least we know the beer's good at home, right?

TB
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On tap:
1. Porter 2. Kentucky Common 3. IPA 4. Pils 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Dry Stout 2. Dry Stout 3. Cali Common 4. Cali Common 5. none 6. none
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. none 3. none 4. none
Bottled:
About 58 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Imperial Bourbon Barrel Oatmeal Stout x2, Belgian Dubbel, German Pils (lagering), Oatmeal Blonde x2
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tiber_Brew View Post
Yours is not an unusual one around here. For what it's worth, they use White Labs 001 California Ale yeast. In my opinion, though, they manage it poorly and pitch yeast that has undergone too many generations of fermentation. It's a shame, since when they first opened, the blonde was actually pretty good.



I hear ya. I really like the owners, manager, and brewer, but the beer has suffered quite a bit. It really is a shame, but people keep drinking it, so business is good. The brewer told me he's going to start brewing pilot batches, about 10 gal or so at a time, and experiment with higher ABV and new yeast strains that will be on tap exclusively in the taproom here in Ho-town. I will let you know how they are when I try them.

Hey, at least we know the beer's good at home, right?

TB
That's what's so tough- we're in a beer wasteland. And in a college town, I suppose they cant' really push the limits as the beer they make sells so well. But I'm a big proponent of small breweries, and the beers simply are bad but the drinkers don't know it so they don't have incentive to make it better.

I do see people around here drinking "Widowmaker" and the blonde like crazy, thinking it's a good craft beer.

Keep us informed on the new beers in the taproom- I'd love to come up to a hockey game and have a few (good) beers.
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Yooper_Brew View Post
That's what's so tough- we're in a beer wasteland. And in a college town, I suppose they cant' really push the limits as the beer they make sells so well. But I'm a big proponent of small breweries, and the beers simply are bad but the drinkers don't know it so they don't have incentive to make it better.
You hit the nail on the head there. Also, if you look at the microbrew section at any retailer, I'd say about 40% are bad. It's all about business, and image. Lots of people will drink micro beers just for the novelty factor, which brings me too your next sentence...

Quote:
I do see people around here drinking "Widowmaker" and the blonde like crazy, thinking it's a good craft beer.
Mostly because that is their introduction to craft beer. Those beers are also a means for newer craft beer drinkers to get their toes in the water and get the novelty of it. I won't say there's anything wrong with someone finding beers they like, whether I like those particular beers or not, but I will say that people need to experience some good craft brewed beers other than their staple favorites that they initially tried. At least it opens some doors for the typical BMC crowd; you got to admit that's a step in the right direction.

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Keep us informed on the new beers in the taproom- I'd love to come up to a hockey game and have a few (good) beers.
I certainly will. Better yet, if I discover a good one, you can make a westward drive, see a hockey game, and enjoy some of the good stuff with me.

The brewer at the Library also tells me that he's doing some small batches with some added experimentation as well. He's actually using the same setup that I was using prior to my electric setup. Even showed him how I was configuring the hardware for the 10 gal cooler. I'm looking forward to his pilot batches as well.

Anyway, I'll keep you updated.

Cheers

TB
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On tap:
1. Porter 2. Kentucky Common 3. IPA 4. Pils 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Dry Stout 2. Dry Stout 3. Cali Common 4. Cali Common 5. none 6. none
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. none 3. none 4. none
Bottled:
About 58 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Imperial Bourbon Barrel Oatmeal Stout x2, Belgian Dubbel, German Pils (lagering), Oatmeal Blonde x2
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