Mother Earth “Endless River” – Kolsch style ale – 4.9% ABV – IBU 25 (my best guess)
Until consuming “Endless River” for this review I had never tried drinking a finely crafted beer straight from the bottle. I often find myself shyly reminding servers at restaurants to furnish me with a glass from which to imbibe my beer, and it shocks me to my soul that in the year 2014 there are still plenty of establishments that do not instill this rule into their staff. Do you drink wine straight from the bottle? Eat your spaghetti without any utensils? Eat bone-in filet mignon with a fucking condom on your tongue? And I just confirmed the rhetoric within these questions. I purchased a 6-pack when I recently visited Atlanta and decided to give it a try: straight from the bottle.
“But, Mr. Deltoid… what in the holy fucking name of the holy fucking spirit did you do that for?” Per my review of the Tripel Overhead, Mother Earth Brewing impressed me and is a small outfit that distributes only to Georgia and the Carolinas. I was in the cheapest, shittiest hotel in the city I could find. There was no glassware. I had no car. I was curious. I was thirsty. And I was SOBER, God damn you to hell. Plus, I had 6 bottles, so I cranked up the sophistication level and drank the remaining 5 from a paper coffee cup on the bathroom countertop. Now THAT is class. All I needed to appropriately punctuate my elegant evening were a pizza-stained tank-top and a woman to choke.
The first bottle was essentially worthless because I “necked” it. I couldn’t see the liquid or the head. I couldn’t enjoy the aroma. The flavor was completely raped into submission by the overwhelming carbonation that only permitted me to taste skunk, funk and fermented grain. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DRINK A REAL BEER FROM A BOTTLE. At that point I decided to pour a few ounces of bottle #2 into the broken coffee pot in my hotel room so I could see what this stuff looked like. It was a clear, dull gold. It looked cheap (really? In a shit-hole hotel in a broken coffee pot? NO WAY!). But it looked just fine for drinking! So I poured the remaining contents of the bottle into the hotel-issued paper cup. 2 beers, one cup!
At this point I could take in the aroma and admire the head. It was scented with flowery soap, grapefruit, oats, and over-ripened banana. The head was very soft, resilient, fluffy, and like whipped cream in appearance as well as feel. And then there was the moment of truth: the flavor. How would this taste in a leaky paper cup in a hotel room that costs less per night than any of its on-demand porn films? Thankfully, my taste buds were able to “separate” the bitter, bland, dry flavor of the cup and cast it aside from my consciousness. And for a Kolsch-style ale this brew had a lot of fantastic flavors: saltine crackers, green sour grapes, soap, and skunk. It finished with a sweet tangerine and then a dry, bitter taste.
Unfortunately the flavor was like a drive-by shooting: it came quickly and easily, opened fire and then left just as swiftly as it had arrived. But, that’s the style. The carbonation was fairly high, and the texture of the liquid was soft and somewhat slippery, like a cat. Such a sweet pussy. Lacing appeared to leave a slightly below average milky white, thin foam. The aftertaste was that of a bitter lemon peel, skunk, sour citrus, and faded slowly away with a sweet onion and buttered English muffin.
Pouring beer like this into paper cups is like putting a hot tub in an outhouse. But it was still a better option than drinking it straight out of the bottle. And it certainly tasted better than the hotel room coffee, which reminded me of a melted rubber tire in a truck-stop diner ashtray, stirred by a rusty screwdriver that had just been used to prod the sweaty rectum of Whitney Houston during her days of heavy crack use.
Endless River is extremely cool and very refreshing. It’s excellent for beach volleyball and summer grilling with brats, Polish sausage, or seafood. Kolsch is not a popular or common style. Many big name brewers out there make Kolsch ales, but they just aren’t easy to find because the demand isn’t high. I can see why. The flavor is very light, and a lot of people wouldn’t see the value in paying US$9-12 for a 6-pack of light beer with 4.9% alcohol. But the flavor here is surprisingly strong for such a light beer, and Mother Earth’s “Endless River” should be recognized by all those who respect beer.