Sweet 16

Ah, summer.

Flip flops. Humidity. Sunscreen. Pumpkins.

Wait. What?

Yeah, pumpkins. Specifically the abomination that is pumpkin ale. I know this is not a popular opinion. My only hope is that it will earn me some hate mail. The fact that pumpkin ales start popping up their little blaze orange heads in August is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

Truth be told, I do love plenty of things pumpkin: pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, The Great Pumpkin. But I like them after, y’know, September. But come on. Sweet potato pie is better anyway, right? And that brings me to this week’s beer.

Sweet 16 Sweet Potato Ale
IBU not listed

Smitty Tocorzic/Twin Screws Brewing was one of last quarter’s homebrew contest winners at Bearded Bird Brewing, and this particular creation was released Friday, August 11. Oh, and the sweet potatoes were local. How cool is that?

Look 20%
Hazy, lemony orange that I actually expected to be a little darker. The fact that it’s not I find interesting.

Smell 20%
Very light on the nose. A little ginger, a little boiled sweet potato.


Feel 20%
Again, my expectation was that this would feel heavier, meatier. Pleasant surprise.

Taste 18%
My third surprise. The first flavor I recognize is not sweet potato, but clove and a little ginger. Sweet without being sugary or cloying. Enough bitterness to keep things interesting. At the time I was trying it, I was asked for suggestions. I don’t feel comfortable or super-qualified to suggest anything, but if pressed, I’d like a little more sweet potato-y earthiness.

Would I Drink It Again? 18%
Absolutely, but see below.

Total 96%

Okay here’s why I gave Sweet 16 two 18%s. I like it quite a bit, but there’s another Smitty Tocorzic/Twin Screws beer I like exponentially more.

I was at Bearded Bird’s tasting event last week where Smitty entered his English Ale. Since all I had was what I could get at the tasting, I didn’t feel I had enough quality time with it for a full review just yet. But holy crap is it good! 4%, ultra-smooth, with a little orange peel to take the barest edge off the lovely bitter finish. Ludicrously drinkable. I put it in First Place, but I was, sadly, in the minority. One of the best beers I’ve ever had. Hope I can to get my hands on it again someday.