A breath of fresh air
A Review of Batch 69 by Frankenmuth Brewery
Posted on 2/22/2013 by Chops
                   
Great
The Frankenmuth Brewery has been operating in Michigan since 1862. In American brewing terms, that's older than dirt. These guys have been brewing up tasty nectar for a lot longer than most, so sampling a new Frankenmuth brew is always a welcome experience. We have been steadily drinking our way through their product line since discovering the brewery a few years back (their Munich Dunkel is especially delicious and we highly advise giving it a try). Up next in my Frankenmuth exploration is their Batch 69 IPA.

I should take a moment to note that this beer made me little nervous, but not because I didn't trust the brewery. When it comes to the American IPA, I have grown a bit weary of the style's ''over the top'' mentality. It seems almost commonplace at this point for breweries to craft some sort of undrinkable IPA in order to wow the big-bold-bitter craving public. Frankenmuth has a rich German influence and they make solid reliable beer. My fingers were crossed that this restraint was also featured in their IPA.

In the glass, Batch 69 has a hazy golden orange coloration. It comes with a frothy white head that has nice retention. On the nose, I was surprised to find an interesting mishmash of style traits. There is the tangy citrus of an IPA, an herbal bready quality similar to a saison, and some lemony grassy notes similar to a lager. I spent a lot of time on this aroma because it was equally pleasurable and intriguing. Everything worked great together and nothing was out of balance, but my brain really struggled to grasp the equation. Not a bad thing mind you, just a fun aroma to dissect.

Right away I was greeted with a tangy and playful hop profile. It's assertive, but not overpowering, and carries nicely through the finish. The flavoring consists of a warm orange citrus with a piney bite and faint notes of honey. The herbs and lemongrass from the aroma also make appearances, but only as small compliments. They flavor profile is actually fairly straight forward and easy to grasp. It has a light-to-mid range body and a dry airy mouthfeel. Coupled with the piney bitterness, the resulting dry bitter finish tends to linger for a while (not that you mind).

Overall, Frankenmuth's Batch 69 IPA is a solid brew with a tangy personality. It is one of the very few IPAs I have come across where the German influence is noticeable. Whether or not that's appealing depends on the drinker, but I personally found it to be a breath of fresh air. I think they did a very good job in clearly defining character traits without allowing the hop profile to run rampant. As a result, I can easily recommend this beer to any and all beer fans. It's a flavorful bridge beer into the style and serves as a great session IPA for seasoned drinkers. Once again, I tip my drinking hat to Frankenmuth for another solid creation. Cheers!

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Batch 69 by Frankenmuth Brewery
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