Kissmeyer Brewery’s Denied Entry

This was a fun one. The bottle caught my eye in my local beer store partly because of simplicity of the label (some of the best foreign beers I’ve had specifically don’t have fancy labels) and partly because of what’s in it. Or, at least, what’s plainly stated on the label of what’s in it. Among other things Kissmeyer Brewery Denied Entry was brewed with pomegranate juice and orange peel. It’s listed as a Belgian-style brown all with a just over four out of five based on a only a few reviews on Beer Advocate.

What I liked most about this beer was you got more than you expected. At 6.5 percent ABV, smells and flavors come through more naturally and you’re not busy working your way through alcohol taste to get to the brew’s complexity. While no flavors truly knocked my socks off, they did balance each other well and offered something surprising. It’s one of those “sum of the parts is greater than the whole” kind of thing.

On the nose, the beer was very citrusy. At first it’s all orange, but sweet. The middle consists mostly of very light malt/bready and a finish of … strawberry? I was surprised at first, but I’ll take it. I needed a few more minutes to actually get the final note – ginger. Considering what’s on the label, I was pleasantly surprised to find these other aspects.

To note, the taste was very much the same. At first the beer comes across rather bitter – something I’ve found is common for me with beers that use orange peel – but that bitterness very easily gives way to fruit and some sweetness. It’s amazing how they balance each other out so fast. There’s definitely what I assume is the pomegranate flavor, which is just a quick flash of fruit.

The coup de grace, however, is that ginger … or whatever is providing that ginger flavor. As the beer warmed and more came out of it, the beer reminded me of pumpkin beers from the fall, as you’d definitely find that kind of spice note in those. At that point, it could’ve easily been a combination of the smell and taste that pushed me over the edge. Or perhaps just me wanting pumpkin pie.

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