When I walk through my local beer store (which happens much more often than Lady Copperpot would prefer), I’m always looking for what’s new. I do this mainly because, like any good Alehead would, I’ve tasted everything they typically have in stock. I’m there so often that the distributors have started to recognize me. As such, I can pretty easily visualize what each shelf looks like. The Ommegang bombers are next to the Stone bombers, which are next to the bombers of Wachusett Larry. The same bottles are usually in the same places.
When they’re not, though, I’ll notice almost immediately.
In a recent trip, a new 12-pack among the typical inventory caught my eye. My local beermonger had picked up some sampler packs of Butternuts Beer & Ale. I’d never heard of Butternuts, but they passed the test for me: it was new, it was craft, it was canned, and how could any sentient being possibly resist purchasing the most colorful, whimsical Goddamn box in the industry?
Butternuts Beer & Ale is located in the heart of New York state, in Garrattsville. I’ve been to that area of New York state, and trust me: the only thing it has going for it is that it’s not in Pennsylvania. The brewery itself was founded five years back by Chuck Williamson, who converted an old farmhouse (the likeness of which is, I assume, on that cheery box) into a brewery. They brew simple beer, they’re progressive in their use of cans, and they have clearly put a ton of thought and effort into branding (their motto “Nice Cans” is inspired). The rest is history.
The Butternuts 12-pack consists of four beers: the Moo Thunder (a stout), the Heinnieweisse (a German hefe), the Snapperhead IPA, and a their flagship, the Porkslap Pale Ale (fantastic, fantastic name).
So how were they?
Mixed, like the pack.
I’m not going to go into major specifics on these. To me, they’re all pretty mediocre.
The Moo Thunder (4.9% ABV) pours a deep black, with 1/2 finger of head that leaves no lacing. Body is a bit watery. Carbonation is a bit weak. And the aftertaste has a bit too much ashtray for my liking. 2 Hops.
The Snapperhead IPA (6.8% ABV) was probably the most ordinary IPA I’ve ever had. Medium everything. Not too hoppy. Watery and lacking oomph. 1.5 Hops.
The Heinnieweisse ( 4.9% ABV) poured a cloudy yellow/orange. The nose was redolent with fruits and cloves and cinnamon. I don’t love the style, but this is something you should try if you do like Hefes. For me though, it gets 2.5 Hops.
The Porkslap (4.3% ABV) is a watery malt bomb brewed with ginger. Note to self: if you’re going to use ginger, use it extremely sparingly…to the point that you can’t taste it. At all. Unfortunately for this one, the ginger shines through and the hops are imperceptible. 1 Hop.