It’s easy to drink this American lager without thinking about it at all. After all, that’s kind of what it’s designed for: it’s fermented cold and super clean-drinking. But Cowboy Cornfield isn't without expression. There’s a surprisingly smooth body and a gentle sweetness like the rolling hills of Iowa. Thirty percent flaked corn and a Mexican yeast strain give this beer an authentic salt-of-the-earth American flavour. The art on the label by artist Marc Etherington really hits this home, showing a cowboy in a cornfield with an eagle flying overhead. Doesn’t get much more ‘Murican than that.
Many of Marc’s artworks deal with pop culture, but even before I’d browsed his works I had the sense of this beer being enjoyed by various iconic characters. This is the beer Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn drink when they grow up. This is the beer Clark Kent’s adopted pa drinks after a hard day on the farm in Smallville, Kansas. This is the beer Jack Reacher drinks whenever he rolls through a dinky town in his wanderings across America.
When we get to Butting Hops, we’re moving from salt of the earth to fruit of the bine. This is a super fragrant hazy that has just enough soft, honeyed malt character to carry the bucketloads of fruit character from the hops.
Whole Galaxy cones bring big, fat peach vibes, but there’s also some passionfruit, juicy mandarin (presumably from the Idaho 7) and a touch of sweet banana. When I was a kid, we’d sometimes get this fancy expensive juice (it came in a glass bottle!) for special occasions. It was some kind of tropical or breakfast juice that included banana nectar among its ingredients, and it tasted like no other juice I’d had. Butting Hops brought back pleasant memories of the Fancy Juice.
- American Lager & Hazy IPA
- 4.4% & 6.8%
- 12 & 45 IBU