Southern Tier

SOUTHERN TIER BREWING COMPANY

Located near Lakewood, NY, Southern Tier has grown quickly by producing high quality beers that are in high demand.  Operating since late 2002, Southern Tier was founded by Phineas DeMink and Allen Yahn.  The produce year-rounds and seasonals. They also have an Imperial Series and a Blackwater Series.

www.southerntierbrewing.com

Year-Round/Seasonals:

2XIPA: 90 Points

Great Taste, Thin Body

This Imperial IPA is brewed with 4 varieties of hops and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Not quite an imperial, but certainly not a standard India pale ale. Our double IPA is a hop lovers dream. Citrusy and clean with an incredible finish.”

My Description: This Imperial IPA drinks more like a regular IPA; it has a thin body, the alcohol is definitely hidden, and the body is smooth. It has a good sized, off-white colored head that fades to a film that holds the rest of the way producing a good amount of lacing. The aroma is straight forward with some pine and citrus hop notes accompanied by a touch of malt. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The taste of the beer is where this Imperial shines; the hops taste great with notes of citrus and pine, there is a nice malt presence, and there is a hint of lemon from time to time. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and refreshing. All around it a great beer to drink, I just wish the body was bit denser for this style of ale. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with spicy thai dishes, grilled chicken, or fish & chips.

ABV: 8.2% Color: Gold/Orange Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 6.5/10

2XSTEAM: 80 Points

Decent enough

Decent enough

This California Common is available in the Spring season in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brewed with 2 varieties of hops and 3 types of malts. FERMENTATION: Lager yeast at ale temperature, two varieties of hops, three varieties of malts COLOR: Deep Gold EFFERVESCENCE: Light carbonation NOSE: Earthy, woody, slight mint aroma FLAVOR: Lightly toasted malts with woody and earthy hops, subtle but firm bitterness.”

My Description: This beer is good enough to drink but it gets old really quick. By the time you finish the first bottle the second bottle seems like more of a chore. It begins with a decent, off-white colored head that holds for the most part but leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is dominated by woodsy/earthy hops, there are also some mild malt notes as well.It is medium bodied with a crisp carbonation and a dry finish. The texture is creamy and the alcohol is hidden nicely enough. The flavors upfront include light bread notes and earthy hops but there is also this metallic taste I didn’t care too much for. The aftertaste has this semi-harsh bitterness that lingers negatively. Overall, this beer is easy drinking for a 8% alcohol level but nothing that I would pursue at the beer store. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with burgers, light salads with fruit, or steak fries.

ABV: 8%  Color: Deep Gold/Orange  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 4.5/10

2XSTOUT: 93 Points

Mmmmm, Lactose

This Double Milk Stout uses three different malts and lactose sugars. It is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Milk stout, also called ‘cream’ or ‘sweet’ stout, is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness and body to the finished beer. Ours is a double, an addition to our 2X line, and at 7.5% abv is every bit as delicious as it sounds. To your health!”

My Description: This Milk Stout is delicious because you can taste the lactose sugar without it being overwhelming; the other flavors associated with stouts still shine through like the bitterness and the roasted malt. It is smooth, creamy, and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. It has a good sized, dark beige head with a decent retention level that fades rather quickly but holds the entire way. The lacing is good and sticks on like glue. The aroma is a nice mix between roasted malts and a hint of lactose sweetness. There are also notes of dark chocolate and a touch of alcohol. It is roughly full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. As soon as it hits your lips you will pick up on the lactose sweetness that is immediately balanced by roasted malts. Chocolate and coffee notes make their appearances as well adding to the overall enjoyment. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and lingers minimally. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with potato skins, grilled steaks, or lamb chops.

ABV: 7.5%  Color: Black  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 3/10

HARVEST: 95 Points

Clean Harvest Flavor

Clean Harvest Flavor

This American Style ESB is released seasonally in the Autumn season in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Harvest Ale is our celebration of the changing weather and the sowing of hops and barley that will be used in our upcoming brews. We usher in the fall with a classic English style Extra Special Bitter of the highest order. Deep ruby in color with an even deeper hop flavor… in fact, we throw fresh English hops into every brewing vessel, then dry hop after fermentation to impart a zesty kick. This beer has real hop character that mingles with fresh malted barley for an experience that will make you wish it were fall year ‘round.”

My Description: I love ESB’s and American versions are stronger and more bitter. This one in particular does America proud. It begins with a large, off-white colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind an amazing amount of lacing that just glues on the glass. The aroma is bitter forward and pungent with notes of pine and citrus hops, the smell is a definite clue to the flavor profile of the beer. Harvest is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The bitterness in this beer is not as strong as the aroma would suggest, which is great because it doesn’t lose that bold malt backbone required for this style. This beer tastes fresh and clean with notes of caramel malt, toasted bread, citrus hops, pine hops, and floral hops. All these flavors work in harmony together to create a beer that is addicting, smooth, and satisfying. This is a must try for any hop lover who enjoys a malty backbone. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled venison, aged Gouda, or roasted duck.

ABV: 6.7%  Color: Bronze/Light Ruby  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 5/10

HOP SUN: 90 Points

great choice for summer

great choice for summer

This American Wheat Ale is released in the summer months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Pour Hop Sun Summer Wheat Beer into a pint glass, give it a long whiff and you’ll realize that this isn’t your average wheat beer. Filtered to a golden clarity and dry-hopped to perfection, Hop Sun is a fantastic session ale in which flavors of wheat, barley and hops co-mingle to a refreshing and zesty conclusion. Hints of lemon and sweet malts waft to the fore as a touch of bitterness contributes to Hop Sun’s bright finish. Enjoy Hop Sun all summer long as a perfect balance to your outdoor recreation. Summer never tasted so good.”

My Description: This is a nice summer brew that satisfies on that hot summer day. It has a good sized, bright white colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma smells fresh with notes of floral and citrus hop with a hint of wheat malt. It is lighter bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. There are prominent floral hop flavor notes in this beer with a malty backbone and a hint of sweetness. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with some earth notes. This is an easy drinking beer that is not complicated. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with shrimp, burgers, or salads.

ABV: 5.1%  Color: Light Gold  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 5/10

IMPERIAL CHOKLAT STOUT: 94 Points

Chocolate Goodness

Part of their Blackwater series, this winter seasonal becomes available in November. This beer uses bittersweet Belgian chocolate and Chinook & Willamette hops.

Brewer’s Description: “Moving through centuries, the circular journey of cacao has been realized in our brewing house, encompassing the complexity of the darkest, bitter-sweet candy together with the original frothy cold beverage of the ancient Maya to bring to you our Blackwater Series Choklat Stout. We have combined the finest ingredients to tempt your senses & renew the power & interrelation of history in every bottle.”

My Description: One of the best stouts out there with this much ABV. The caramel colored head is pretty decent for a beer with this much alcoholic content but it produces minimal lacing. The aroma has a dark hot cacao scent that is strong and welcoming. This scent is accompanied by a nice addition of roasted malt and a little vanilla bean. As soon as it hits your lips you get a strong taste of dark chocolate and roasted malts that make you want to quickly take another swig. Even though this beer is strong you cannot taste or smell the alcohol which shows the quality. Minor notes of tobacco make themselves present from time to time. This beer finishes with a really tasty chocolate flavor that is delightfully bitter. This makes a really good dessert beer and is best served around 45°F. Pairs well with creme brulee, strawberries, or a nice cigar.

ABV: 11% Color: Black Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 5/10

IMPERIAL CRÈME BRÛLÉE: 93 Points

mmmmm, dessert

Part of their Blackwater Series, this Imperial Milk Stout is fermented with lactose sugar and vanilla. It is available in limited quantities and is released in June in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The British founders of burnt cream and from Spain, crema catalana, both stand by their creative originality and we respect that, but it was the French Crème Brûlée, amid the strife of contention, that survived to represent our deliciously creamy brew.”

My Description: This is a bit overwhelming at first because this beer exceeded my expectations; I did not think that it would really smell and taste so similar to an actual crème brûlée. That being said, this is nothing short of a dessert beer so prepare your sweet tooth. It has a good sized, beige colored head with a good amount of lacing and a decent retention. The aroma is sweet with a strong butterscotch fragrance accompanied by vanilla, caramelized sugar, and a touch of alcohol. It is full bodied, lightly carbonated, with a semi-dry finish. This beer is extremely smooth and the alcohol is noticeable, making this dessert beer even more enjoyable. Up front you will taste the sweet caramel, almost maple-like flavor accompanied by vanilla and a touch of roasted malt which leads into an aftertaste that is mildly bitter to help bring balance. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with vanilla custard, banana flavored ice cream, or dark chocolate.

ABV: 9.6% Color: Black Sweetness: 7/10 Bitterness: 3/10

IMPERIAL MOKAH STOUT: 88 Points

Coffee and Chocolate Mix

Part of their Blackwater Series, this seasonal becomes available in April and lasts for a few months. This beer uses Bittersweet Belgian Chocolate and Jamaican Roasted Coffee. Available seasonally in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “As scientists, our brewers utilize their materials to exacting standards. As artists, they couldn’t resist the temptation to combine two of our highly acclaimed Blackwater Series Imperial Stouts: Jahva and Choklat. Alone each is perfect, but together as Mokah they are an inimitable expression of two of the world’s most sought after flavors.”

My Description: This is a strong stout that will get you pretty buzzed since it is served in 22 oz. bombers. It is obvious since the alcohol taste is prominent in this beer. It is almost expected with this level of ABV that you will taste the alcohol, but their Choklat Stout is just as high in ABV but you don’t really pick it up as much. The head is almost non-existent and I poured it aggressively. I understand that it is high in alcohol content but I was hoping for at least something; it does produce some lacing though. The aroma is so nice, it has a strong chocolate aroma that pleases your senses. The flavors that you will pick up include a bitter chocolate taste that resemble Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup that is delicious. That is followed up with an aftertaste that is slightly bitter with a roasted coffee addition. This is definitely a heavier stout that is full bodied and full flavored. It is best served around 45°-50°F and pairs nicely with steak, fish & chips, or grilled pork chops.

ABV: 11.2% Color: Dark Brown Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10

IMPERIAL OAT OATMEAL STOUT: 86 Points

Oats and Horses

This Oatmeal Stout is part of their Blackwater Series, it has an August release and available throughout Autumn. They use Columbus and Willamette hops and it is available in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Pour Oat into a snifter, allow its thick tan head to slowly rise, releasing unbridled aromas. The color of Oat is as dark as a moonless night. The first sip reveals Oat’s thick and nourishing taste. Like a haversack to a horse, a bottle of this stout is a meal in itself.”

My Description: They weren’t exaggerating when they said that this beer is a meal in itself. It is full bodied, thick, and fills you up. I made the mistake of trying to drink the whole bottle right after dinner, but the beer is pretty good. Oats are known as head killers and this is no different; the head is weak and goes away quickly leaving minimal lacing. But when the head is there it has a beautiful dark tan color. The aroma is mild with notes of milk chocolate and grains which is pleasing to the senses. The beer is carbonated perfectly for this style and it makes the beer smooth. The beer is rich with flavors up front including some chocolate, roasted malt, oatmeal, and coffee. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with a sharp hop taste that is kind of spicy. This beer is strong and the alcohol notes are apparent throughout but that doesn’t really affect the overall flavors. This beer is good but it didn’t seem to satisfy me as much as I hoped it would. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled chicken, pork chops, or spicy sausage.

ABV: 10.8% Color: Black Sweetness: 4/10 Bitterness: 6/10

IMPERIAL PUMKING: 96 Points

Hail to the king

This Pumpkin Ale is released in the Autumn season in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “As spicy aromas present themselves, let it’s deep copper color entrance you as your journey into this mystical brew has just begun. As the first drops touch your tongue a magical spell will bewitch your taste buds making it difficult to escape the Pumking.”

My Description: While other pumpkin ales have notes or hints of pumpkin, this ale delivers a huge burst of pumpkin flavor and aroma to let you know exactly what the main character is in this beer. It has a fairly weak head that dissipates quickly leaving almost no lacing, I suppose every king has his weakness. The aroma is slightly complex and warming with fragrant notes of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, some maltiness, and an almost chai latte type scent. It is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a smooth/creamy finish. Without a doubt, pumpkin dominates the flavor profile with underlying pumpkin pie spice notes. There are also accompanying flavors of breadiness and a hint of alcohol. The beer almost tastes like a spiked pumpkin chai latte. This beer is well balanced and not overly sweet. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with pumpkin pie, grilled sausage, or honey glazed ham.

ABV: 8.6%  Color: Copper  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

OLD MAN: 88 Points

Old man winter

Old man winter

This Old Ale is released seasonally in the winter months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “For our winter seasonal, Southern Tier offers Old Man Winter Ale, a rich and complex amalgam of hops and barley that will put the feeling back in your toes and lift your spirits above the snow. Old Man Winter throws a deep and inviting hue with a thickness that clings to the glass and the warmth of an open flame. Because of its high alcohol content, Old Man Winter is a heady brew that encourages sipping and pondering its essential richness.”

My Description: This ale is welcoming in the cold winter months with its balanced flavors and warming alcohol presence. It starts with a decent, light beige colored head that fades quickly and leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma provides some nice notes of caramel malt and woodsy/citrus hops but it almost smells stale at some points and not as fresh as I had anticipated. It is roughly medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. Upfront, there are flavor notes of caramel malt accompanied by notes of dark fruit, roasted malt, and hints of spice and cocao. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and balances the beer out nicely. The alcohol is nicely hidden and overall the texture is smooth. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with roasted chicken, winter squash, or a hearty stew.

ABV: 7%  Color: Dark Amber  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 3.5/10

PHIN & MATT’S: 83 Points

It should say just “Ordinary”

This American Pale Ale is fermented with three types of malts and hops and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “When Phin and Matt sat down to collaborate on their new beer, they knew it had to be different if they were to call it extraordinary.”

My Description: This beer is a decent everyday beer but extraordinary it is not. It has a decent, white colored head with a decent retention level and leaves some spotty lacing. The aroma is fresh with notes of caramel malt, citrus hops, and a touch of grapefruit hops. It is lighter bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a wet mouthfeel. Upfront, there are notes of sweet malt accompanied by some grapefruit hops. The beer is nicely balanced with an aftertaste that is moderately bitter but the hops feel slightly harsh. The quality of the beer seems average to me and the flavors just don’t satisfy. It is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with earthy cheeses, burgers, or grilled chicken.

ABV: 5.7%  Color: Clear Orange  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 4/10

PLUM NOIR: 89 Points

Better as it warms

Better as it warms

This Imperial Porter is released seasonally in the Spring & Summer seasons in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Plums are a diverse group of species, with somewhere between 19 & 40 varieties depending upon whom you ask. We’re using what we consider to be the best to brew with. the Italian plum has beautiful dark skin & the flesh is perfect for fermentation. Plum Noir’s mild sweetness is derived no necessarily from the many malts we use. A bit of plum flavor is present as well as earthy, toasted grains, & hints of caramel with mild coffee overtones.”

My Description: This beer is worth sipping on that cool summer night. There are nice dark fruit notes but I can’t say for sure that it is plums that I’m tasting. To me that is a great thing here because this is not designed as a fruit beer so the plums should only serve as a subtle flavor note. This ale begins with a good sized, dark beige colored head that has a decent retention level but leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma has notes of coffee, roasted malts, dark fruit, and a hint of chocolate. This ale is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile is tasty and slightly complex with notes of roasted malts, dark fruits, coffee undertones, and some sweetness. There is also a earthy hop presence and only the slightest hint of alcohol. This beer has good balance and a smooth texture. Enjoy this or save it for the winter months. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts, Gruyere cheese, or BBQ chicken.

ABV: 8%  Color: Black  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

UNEARTHLY IMPERIAL IPA: 95 Points

This will knock you out of Earth

This Imperial IPA is available year-round in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: ” Unearthly is a manifestation of the brewer’s craft; skillfully balancing art and the forces of nature to produce a divine liquid.Smell the enchanting aromas of the hops waft forward as your first sip divulges this beer’s fervent soul.”

My Description: Imperial IPA’s are known to knock you on your ass but this one at least is accompanied by an amazing taste and great quality. It has a big and fluffy off-white head that retains nicely and leaves an amazing amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with a huge woodsy hop smell with hints of earthy hops and malt, a great indication of what is to come. This beer is full bodied, smooth, and powerful. This beer is nicely balanced with a big malt flavor up front that tastes sweet like caramel which then leads into an aftertaste that is strong with bitterness. You will feel the alcohol but the taste is masked well by the hops and malt. Overall, this beer is delicious and it was made with love. It is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with gourmet cheeses, spicy chicken, or Andouille sausage.

ABV: 9.5%  Color: Light Brown/Amber  Sweetness: 4.5/10  Bitterness: 6.5/10

WARLOCK: 97 Points

Love that evil magic

Love that black magic

This Fruit/Imperial Stout is released seasonally in September in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Imperial stout brewed with pumpkins Warlock is brewed to enchant your palate on its own and also to counterpoint our Imperial Ale, Pumking. Make your own black magic by carefully pouring this Imperial Stout into a goblet. Dark and mysterious, the Blackwater Series is serious about high gravity. Reanimate your senses with Warlock’s huge roasted malt character, moderate carbonation and spicy pumpkin pie aroma.”

My Description: I’m under the spell of this Warlock, I’m addicted to the flavors and overall presence of this beer. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma smells just like a pumpkin pie crust with notes of cloves, nutmeg, roasted pecans, vanilla, and graham crackers. This beer smells amazing and immediately makes you want to take a sip. Warlock is full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. There are some roasted notes and a touch of coffee usual with stouts but there are many other flavors too. Nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, pumpkin, woodsy hops, and a touch of alcohol all work harmoniously together. The aftertaste is slightly bitter bringing great balance to this beer. It is smooth, creamy, and delicious. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with smoked ribs, carrot cake, or spicy chicken.

ABV: 8.6%  Color: Black  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 3/10