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Day #5 – Live Oak Primus

January 6, 2011

Today is a day of 2 firsts for my review; I get to rate my first draught-only beer as well as my first Texas beer! I know when the phrase “Texas Beer” is mentioned, the first thing (and sometimes the only thing) that comes to mind is, Shiner. It is true that Shiner has made quite a name for itself as a large producer and distributor of craft beer, but there is so….SO much more that our little state has to offer by way of quality brews. There is somewhere around 20 breweries in our state that produce and package beer, but not all of these breweries bottle their product. Just under half of these breweries are draught-only, meaning they keg but not bottle. The reasoning for this varies from company to company; anything from not having the capability to bottle, financially not capable of up-keep and materials, or wanting to maintain stricter control of the quality of their product. (A brewery that kegs only under a certain production amount can self distribute and does not have to go through a distributor.) Whatever the reason, these breweries still produce quality beer that can usually be found at any local beer bar. I will make it a goal to have as many Texas beers in my reviews as I can get my hands on. It’s always nice to support your local brewery!

Live Oak Primus

The beer I am reviewing today is from Live Oak Brewing Company out of Austin, TX.  This is a fairly small brewery that only opened up just a few years ago.  They have made a name for themselves in the greater Austin area and have now expanded to the Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth area as well.  You will be sure to see more beers from them in my future reviews.

This beer is classified as a Weizenbock, which is basically a wheat version of the bock.  It carries both characteristics of a fruity wheat beer with the heavy grain notes of a bock.  This beer is best when had fresh and does not age well.  The correct serving glassware is the Weizen glass, which is a tall, shapely pilsner glass.  I am enjoying this beer out of a standard shaker, as that is what it was served to me in.

Honestly…..this beer is not very attractive to look at. I don’t blame the brewery because this is what the style is supposed to look like. A Weizenbock is an unfiltered wheat bock, so all the murky goodness you see sitting in front of you is exactly what we want. All the flavor was not filtered out of it. This beer has a small head, which is an off-white color that appears fairly creamy.

The aroma is lots of fruit and wheat. Banana, plum and blackberry notes are what I’m picking up. Very lovely smell as it is delicately balanced with wheat and grain tones. There is also a large yeast element which provides for a bready smell.

The flavor is just as interesting as the aroma. Lots of grainy, bready notes with wheat that strengthens the taste. Yeast notes also add to the breadiness. This breadiness leaves a fairly dry flavor on the finish that might prove distasteful at warmer temperatures. There is also a fair amount of plum flavor and sweetness towards the end of the swallow.

This beer probably isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth it to support your local brewery. Also if you haven’t tried a beer of this style, give it a go. You never know, you may like it.

Cheers!

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