Beer Review: Atom Smasher [Two Brothers Brewing Company]

Atom Smasher [Two Brothers Brewing Company]

Credit: Bluebird Chicago


Atom Smasher
Brewery: Two Brothers (Warrenville, Illinois)
Style: Märzen/Oktoberfest
ABV: 7.7%

While perusing a local grocery store earlier this week, I was shocked to see boxes and boxes of fall seasonal beers already being displayed. Now, this shouldn’t have surprised me too much because so many stores start putting out Christmas decorations in October, but it doesn’t hardly feel like autumn yet. Hell, there are still plenty of summer beers I didn’t get the chance to try! I’m not complaining too much because there are always some great seasonals during this time period. The transition is a bit jarring after all this 90 degree weather, but it’s a welcome change. One particular beer caught my eye — a new offering from a local favorite: Atom Smasher by Two Brothers Brewing Company.

Labeled as an Oktoberfest style lager, this brew was aged in French oak foudres, a fancy term for large casks. It doesn’t take much for me to get excited about a beer — if it says “barrels”, “bourbon”, or “aged in”, I’m sold. This local seasonal did not disappoint at all.

In a glass, the Atom Smasher has a golden amber appearance with very little lacing. The initial taste is a bit sweet but busts out some spices — namely, nutmeg and cinnamon — and throws in an aftertaste that reminds me a lot of a caramel apple. The oak aging gives it a unique complexion that makes it stand out from other Marzen-style lagers.

Atom Smasher weighs in at a potent 7.7% ABV, but it goes down pretty smooth. Normally I don’t go out of my way to pick up Oktoberfest brews, but I’m glad I gave this a shot. Two Brothers generally churns out consistently quality beers, and this one isn’t an exception. Highly recommended if you’re in the Chicagoland area.

8/10

Beer Review: Lager Town [Half Acre Brewery]

Lager Town [Half Acre Brewery]

Lager Town
Brewery: Half Acre Beer Company (Chicago, Illinois)
Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest
ABV: 6.0%

It’s been a while since I have reviewed a new Half Acre release, so it’s very appropriate that I come back with a look at their return to lagers: Lager Town. According to one of the guys at the brewery, this is their first lager in years, as they have been focusing heavily on ales since their initial days. It’s nice to see them go back to their roots, even if it is temporary.

When poured out of a growler and into a glass, Lager Town has a hazy, dark amber appearance. It has a pleasant aroma of caramel and toffee, and this translates to the taste as well. This is a malty, sweet beer that also brings out hints of rye bread. Hops are modest, with only a slight lingering bittnerness.

As far as Oktoberfest-style brews go, this is one of the better offerings in the Chicago area. Lager Town goes down smooth and is very drinkable — a wonderful fall beer. Hopefully Half Acre continues to experiment with more lagers in the future.

8/10

Lager Town is only available in growler pours at Half Acre Brewery. It won’t be around for long!