May 22, 2015

Beer of the Weekend #681: Nightfall Lager

Earlier this week I was in the land of my paternal forefathers — Lafayette County, Wisconsin. Needless to stay, I bought beer and cheese.

The beer I bought is the beer of the weekend: Nightfall Lager, brewed by the Pecatonica Beer Company of Gratiot, Wisconsin.


Nightfall Lager pours a beautiful, deep, ruby-tinted brown into a pilsner glass. A finger and a half of buttery, dense, tan head is spotted with a couple larger bubbles and dissipates slowly. The aroma is dark and sweet with toasted malt, a lot of caramel, dark fruit (plum, cherry), cocoa, and raisin. The flavor is much more toasty and it has a singed toast element. It is sweet, too. There are flavors of caramel, hazelnut (?), cocoa, a touch of toffee, perhaps some roasted malt, plum, and raisin. Honestly, it reminds me a lot of Huber Bock.

Fun facts about Nightfall Lager:

•Style: Dark lager.

•Price: $8.79/sixer at the Roelli Cheese Haus on Wisconsin State Highway 11 in rural Shullsburg, Wisconsin.

•Alcohol content: 5.9 percent ABV.

•What’s behind the name? The Pecatonica River runs through Lafayette County and the brewery’s website says,

Most of our founders grew up close to the Pecatonica River and we all have connections to the region. The Pecatonica River is home to sportsmen and paddlers with many unique spots along the way perfect for kicking back. In this spirit of the outdoors, we adopted the origins of the Pecatonica name – meaning “Slow Water”. We have adopted the patient nature of the river in perfecting our brews and our Company’s brand echoes the dedication of all hardworking people that enjoy spending time with family and friends.

•Also on the website is this: “When ordering your next one, just remember: ‘What the Heck, have a Pec!’”

•Oddly (to me at least), Pecatonica’s taproom is located in Warren, Illinois. It is not too far from the brewery’s headquarters, but a Wisconsin brewery with a taproom in Illinois?

•Speaking of the Illinois-Wisconsin border, sometimes on our trip home from Lafayette County we drive through East Dubuque. When we cross the border from Wisconsin to Illinois, my mood sours and everything looks uglier. Why? It’s Illinois. It’s probably just psychological, but Illinois is just…Illinois. I have always thought Illinois is uglier and dirtier than all the other Midwestern states. Conversely, when we drive to Lafayette County through East Dubuque, my mood brightens and everything looks so much better once we cross the border into Wisconsin.


The Quiet Man’s grade: B.