Beer of the Weekend #746: Calm Before the Storm

Wooo hooo! The Hawkeye men finally beat Michigan State at home! Albeit with the Spartans’ best player on the bench, but it’s a win nonetheless.

The beer tonight is Calm Before the Storm, brewed by Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits of San Diego, California.

The beer pours a medium amber into a pint glass. A finger of white head settles quickly and leaves a bubble-spotted skim and ring around the edge. The smell of freshly-ground coffee is prominent, which is a mind-scrambler since the beer is not a stout and is so light in color. Vanilla is noticeable — or maybe it is because I read it on the front label. I doubt I have ever smelled a coffee-like aroma that is that intense. It’s pleasing and enticing, of course. The taste of coffee grounds is prominent in the flavor, too, but it is accompanied by vanilla. The vanilla reminds me of cream soda. The mouthfeel is full and creamy. Lighter malt is present in the background, and there is a hint of zest. The coffee grounds linger on the taste buds long after each sip.

Fun facts about Calm Before the Storm:

• Style: Cream ale.

• Price: $2.69 per 12-ounce bottle at the “Drug Town” on First Avenue in Iowa City.

• Alcohol content: 5.5 percent ABV.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B+/A-.

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