Fort George Triple Header: The Barleywine Redeems the Mediocre Banana Stout

Our redeemer

Fort George has just dropped a forgettable banana stout, a pretty solid black lager and a straight up exceptional barrel aged barleywine. These are the breweries that I love.

It is too tall an Order to expect one place to just crush it at everything. It’s like a game of Sid Meier’s Civilization and places that drop all their points into a saison tech tree fascinate me. That lack of “swiss army knife approach” is weirdly a symbol of quality to me. Kuhnhenn and Pelican brewing warm my heart because sometimes they will release the absolutely god tier example of a style, then youll try their scotch ale and be like what is even happening here.

I enjoy Fort George’s 3 Ways and their hoppy offerings, if that’s all they did, it would be a nice Joey Tribbiani flare that doesn’t hold up over time but you appreciate. Failing at a ba banana stout is almost a win for me. In crafting a boring, muted, pithy fleshy potassium stout it tells me you have other priorities.

Their priorities, like most, are shifting to lagers which seem to be improving notable. Their Dismal Nitch enters territory as treacherous as its namesake, drowning Lewis and Clark in riparian blackness. It leans a bit too hard into the specialty malts and ends up lightly burnt, and has a lingering bitterness on the finish that feels more robust porter in a way than Schwarzbier but I like where their submerged head is at. It’s like when your least interesting friend starts talking about “PASSIVE STREAMS OF INCOME” and you know their podcast playlist is an absolute hellscape.

Etymology is very good. It takes adept blending, amazing base beer, and cask management to merge the dark fruit aspects to temper the English sweetness in a boozywine. The black barleywine component leverages what I didn’t like about Dismal and uses it for good, adding crazy depth to the hoppy Ology. Both would be deficient alone but it’s like when Blow Friend meets Day Trader friend at a Bachelor party. The prune and port has a fusel grape tobacco aspect that is pulled in line by beta acids and brownie edge pieces.

The synthesis is substantial, fruit leather Clarissa is redeemed against caramel Lovelace. Such is Fort George’s catalo


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