- BJCP Style: Alternative Grain Beer
- ABV: 5.5%
- IBU: 25
- Hops Variety: Crystal, Styrian Golding, Chinook
- Malts: Pilsner, Rye, Munich, CaraMunich II, Carafa Special III, Rice Hulls
- Brewery: Creature Comforts
- City: Athens, GA
- Aroma: Bread, spices, wood
- Appearance: Light brown, slightly hazy, big off-white mousse-like head with good retention
- Flavor & Aftertaste: Leans malt forward, bread, light caramel, spices, wood, restrained bitterness, semi-sweet
- Palate: Soft, medium to full bodied, creamy, slick, low carbonation, medium length finish.
- Style Representation: Style Appropriate
Have you ever come across a beer that surprises and delights you? We’ve all had some that surprise us in a not so good way. Considering all the fruit and pastry beers on the market, it’s not to hard to be delighted by something that may seem like a good combination (i.e. chocolate stout). But to be delighted by something that would seem as pedestrian as rye malt beer, well, that was the surprise for me when I recently tried Reclaimed Rye from Creature Comforts Brewing Co. The only beer I have previously sampled made with rye has been Pretoria Fields Rye Charles IPA, and it was literally a small sample at a beer festival. It was quite good, but had an aggressive bitterness that I generally don’t enjoy in an “everyday” drinking beer. Creature released Reclaimed Rye in cans for the first time in 2018 as part of their year around line up. It’s interesting how, without any marketing or education, this beer just sort of sits there on the shelves as an oddity between the Pale Ales and always popular IPA’s. I finally decided to review it, since it is an Amber Ale rather than like the IPA I had tried before. I am very glad that I did, because I’ve been missing out on a gem!
Why would a brewer use rye malt? The primary reasons a brewer would use rye malt in their grain bill is to give a beer more body, add a unique spiciness to the flavor plus provide a silkiness to the mouth-feel. Those characteristics shine through nicely in this Amber Ale. It has some nice bread and caramel notes along with a subtle spiciness. The rye noticeably provides more body and creaminess on the palate. Combine that with the oak aging and you’ve got a superior beer with some uniqueness to it. I found myself savoring every sip and wanting more once I hit the bottom of the glass.
Part of the enjoyment of being a craft beer enthusiast is exploring new beers. There are definitely some misses and disappointments; but when you do discover something you personally delight in, it’s quite satisfying. I am so glad I did give Reclaimed Rye whirl. I must say that it catapulted right up into my “everyday” beer group. I will always have it around. It’s quite a versatile beer too. It’s light and refreshing enough for summer; but full bodied enough for winter. Definitely an ideal fall transitional beer. I can’t say enough good things about Creature Comforts Brewing Co. They just are just knocking it out of the park with such great beers as Tropicalia IPA, Classic City Lager, Bibo Pilsner and Athena Berliner Weiss. That’s not to mention their broad range of sours and special releases. To get a look, go to the Creature Comforts Tasting Room webpage. For some additional insight into the development of Reclaimed Rye, check out this YouTube video from AthensOnline.
Thanks for reading. Until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!