Beer Bites: Saranac 12 Beers A Falling
Let me start by making a confession: I am kind of a lightweight.
I decided to pay homage to the one week of perfect weather Syracuse will have all year by trying out a local brewery, where I sampled Saranac’s 12 Beers A Falling variety pack, which is brewed just a hop, skip and a jump away in Utica.
But six beers — there are two of each variety in the pack — is a lot for me to drink and be able to wake up for my 8:25 a.m. class, so this is going to have to be a two-part series.
After having less-than-satisfying beer experiences the past few weeks, I decided to start strong with the Pumpkin Ale.
It was magical. The Pumpkin Ale was essentially autumn in my mouth, offering a full range of flavors, all of which I adored. It contained just the right amount of pumpkin, sort of like the beer equivalent of a pumpkin spice latte, with hints of cinnamon and cloves. Plus, there was a surprising yet pleasing gingery aftertaste, which rounded out the overall spiciness of the beer and left me feeling simply delighted.
But because I liked it so much, I kind of chugged it. It was then that I realized I should probably stop binge drinking fall-inspired ales. So I switched to something slightly different, though still in the ale family, for my next beer.
Saranac’s Irish Red intrigued me, not only because I am both Irish and vaguely a ginger, but also because I’d never had an Irish Red before, which seemed like an oversight on my part.
The Irish Red did not disappoint either. It was richer than the pumpkin ale, a little deeper and more flavorful but still sweet, kind of like a baby step toward actually enjoying India Pale Ales. It also made me feel really in touch with my Irish roots, like I should be in a pub, knocking them back with inappropriately handsy men who speak with brogues, rather than drinking alone in my bedroom while I researched Gaelic drinking phrases.
After two light beers in a row, however, I needed a change of pace. I opted for the Black Forest, German-style Schwarzbier, which is one of Saranac’s core beers and is available year-round. This lager was so dark, it almost looked like a stout, and I was expecting a taste similar to Guinness.
Not that I don’t love Guinness, but the Black Forest pleasantly surprised me. While it was dark, it wasn’t heavy or thick, so I felt really tough drinking it, but wasn’t full after just one. In fact, it instantly made me crave a snack, but the kitchen was just too far away.
Sadly, after knocking back the Black Forest, I felt compelled to cut myself off. Polishing off the rest of the pack, which included the Harvest Ale, Octoberfest and Pale Ale, would have been a little too much for me.
But my liver and I are working on that for next week.
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