This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to spend some time at the Gulf with my wife’s family for her grandparent’s fifty-fifth wedding anniversary. The whole drive down, I was thinking about all the beers I wanted to try. Although I had a plan in my head of all the things I wanted to try, I found myself drinking these I’ve had before because of how good they are. Case in point is the Fairhope Brewing Company I Drink Therefore I Amber; a beer that is literally so perfect in every way I can’t help but drink multiples whenever I can find it.

So, the first night we’re there we eat at this restaurant called Cobalt and as I’m waiting to order a drink, across the bar I see a rough old man in a Guy Harvey shirt and solid white mustache holding a Fairhope bottle. I immediately get as giddy as a schoolgirl; or an alcoholic I can’t tell which one. I order it and then return to my waiting spot to enjoy my beer and the beautiful Gulf sunset. Here are my thoughts:
First of all, I seriously love the Fairhope bottles; I’ve always been a fan of the stubby bottle and the labels are so well done because they compliment the city of Fairhope and everything about the brewery itself. I bring all the up because I enjoyed the beer from the bottle and I think that’s the way to go with this one. Something about the flavor of the glass mixed with the outstanding flavors of the beer just brings it all together. From past experience I know this beer pours a deep copper, almost bronze color with a light tan head that is light and fluffy, but settles quickly. The aroma is amazing and one of the best elements of the beer because of the floral notes that you pick up. I feel like some of the best Amber ales I’ve ever had have always had this floral bouquet to them that really sets them apart from other subpar brews. This beer smells amazing and it really draws you in and sets you up for the onslaught of flavors that combine into a rhythmic jubilee on your tongue.
Taste is everything that you expect from an Amber and then some. Up front you get a ton of malt flavors that almost provide creaminess to the beer that is sometimes missing in other beers. Follow that amazing malt character with extremely well balanced hop bitterness with a nice, drinkable finish. All of that is just on the first level of flavors and be warned, it doesn’t end there. Once the beer has some time to warm, you start to pick up the second layer of flavors that blend together deep, rich caramel notes with a slightly sweet and additional bitter citrus flavors that help bring everything together in the end. The beer is so complex that I firmly believe this could even be enjoyed at room temperature because of the depth of flavor and the difference in the initial taste you get and then the flavor profile that develops after the beer has had time to warm. This is something truly spectacular and a beer that should be not only enjoyed, but also respected for what it really delivers.
If I’m drinking an Amber ale, I expect the beer to be a well-balanced, yet complex profile of flavors with a medium to light body and a mild carbonation level, and yet again, this beer provides that on all accounts. The carbonation is perfectly dialed in and really makes it that much more enjoyable. There’s a creamy aspect to the beer that lends itself to be a dessert beer, but doesn’t leave you feeling full or bloated after a few of them. In short, the flavors are perfectly complimented by the mouthfeel and vice versa.
Overall, Fairhope has knocked this one out of the park like they have with just about every other beer on their roster. These guys are putting Lower Alabama on the map for the amazing things they’re crafting and their ability to put such an amazing amount of flavors and details into these beers. To take something as mundane as an Amber ale and turn it into a masterpiece is not easy, but they do it with what seems like ease. The flavors are in the right spots, the body is in the right spot, hell, even the label adds a little to this to make it that much more enjoyable. I can’t seem to find anything bad to say about this beer other than I wish I had more of it right now. Luckily, Fairhope has just begun distributing bottles into Birmingham and Tuscaloosa so you get out there and pick up any of their beers you see, because I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

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