RIGHT BRAIN BREWERY
“I got the name during my senior year in high school. Miss Carter, the creative writing class teacher, strolled in to announce to everyone that we would be taking a test. Mind you, Miss Carter did not really like Russ that well, for whatever reason. Anyway, she goes on about this test we will be taking to determine who is Right Brained. “Don’t worry, no one can take it wrong. There are no right or wrong answers.” So, she also drones on about how only three or four people will be Right Brained. Sooooo…… I end up being the only person in class who is Right Brained and she tells me that I took it wrong. She inspired me. But just to bug the heck out of her I would walk in each day and greet her with, “I’m Right Brain, ya know.”
- CEO Stout (83 Points)
- Naughty Girl Stout (87 Points)
- Northern Hawk Owl (76 Points)
- Smooth Operator (75 Points)
- Will Power (84 Points)
CEO STOUT: 83 Points
This Stout is available year-round in 16 oz. cans.
Brewer’s Description: “A dark bodied yet sessionable American Style Stout brewed with locally roasted gourmet espresso beans. CEO Stands for Chocolate, Espresso, & Oatmeal.”
My Description: This is more of a session Stout than anything else. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head that fades to a film that holds for some time leaving behind some lacing. The aroma is welcoming enough with notes of coffee, roasted malt, and a hint of smoked malt. The aroma isn’t complex at all and suitable for a small stout. CEO Stout is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish, however at times this beer feels thin. The flavor profile tastes pleasant but lacks depth, even for a 5.5% Stout. Hints of caramel and coffee notes can be detected along with an overall roasty presence. The aftertaste is slightly metallic with lingering coffee notes. I couldn’t find too much chocolate in this beer and the oatmeal didn’t really give that creamy texture I was expecting. This makes for a good everyday stout that is easy to drink and satisfying. I just thought it could have been executed better. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with smoked brisket, vegetable chili, or a chocolate dessert.
ABV: 5.5% Color: Black Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 3/10
NAUGHTY GIRL STOUT: 87 Points
This Stout is released seasonally in the Winter months in 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A deep and chocolaty stout with a cooling minty finish. Commonly hailed to as “thin mints in a glass.” Made with locally grown organic Mint.”
My Description: Right Brain did a good job creating a liquid cookie that isn’t too over-the-top but subtle and satisfying. It begins with a very large and dense, beige colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is interesting in that it has the typical roasty stout notes with chocolate but there is also that herbal/minty character that makes it smell similar to a girl scout cookie. Naughty Girl is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This ale is smooth with a nice concept, but the body feels thin and the flavors are subtle. I think the beer should be bolder and thicker, but not necessarily more minty because the ratio of flavors seems spot on. Chocolate undertones and herbal notes blend cleanly to give off that cookie flavor without it being a novelty. The aftertaste is slightly bitter bringing balance and drinkability. Overall, this is a fun stout to drink in the Winter months. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts, grilled steaks, or baked kibbee.
ABV: 6.3% Color: Black Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
NORTHERN HAWK OWL: 76 Points
This Amber Ale is available year-round in 16 oz. cans.
Brewer’s Description: “A medium bodied Amber Ale with a lovely red hue, malty nose, and packed full with notes of caramel and toffee with a clean finish.”
My Description: This makes for a good choice when hanging out at the bar and you want to put back a few, but it does nothing for satisfying your craving for a great Amber Ale. This beer pours a good sized, off-white colored head with a good retention level that holds most of the way leaving behind some lacing. The aroma is one-dimensional with malt being the dominant scent note along with toffee and an almost sweet syrup like smell. Northern Hawk Owl is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile follows the nose closely with malt being the only real flavor in this beer. There is some toffee notes and a slight hint of yeast fruit esters but for the most part malt takes center stage. The aftertaste does provide some bitterness to bring balance and give this beer some character but not enough to make this ale memorable. This is just a whatever Amber Ale that does nothing to give this brewery clout. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with burgers, grilled sausage, or a caramel cheesecake.
ABV: 5.8% Color: Hazy Rusty Amber Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
SMOOTH OPERATOR: 75 Points
This Cream Ale is available year-round in 16 oz. cans.
Brewer’s Description: “Right Brain’s answer to ‘light’ beers. Made with crystal clear water from Lake Michigan, but never watered down. A bold and easy to drink Cream Ale highlighted by satisfying notes of honey and biscuit.”
My Description: I’ll agree that this beer does not taste watered down, but that doesn’t mean it is a good beer. It begins with a decent, white colored head that fades to a film that holds for some time leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma does nothing to excite me; there are notes of adjunct grains, pale malts, dough, and a faint lemon note. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the scent of pale malts, just not the way this beer is presenting it. Smooth Operator is light bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is all around weak with faint notes of pale malts and spicy hops. The aftertaste is somewhat bitter but kind of harsh. This is a small beer that’s easy to drink but why would I waste my time. To me it is no different than pounding back Budweiser. It is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with grilled chicken, mozzarella sticks, or light salads.
ABV: 3.8% Color: Straw Yellow Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 3/10
WILL POWER: 84 Points
This Pale Ale is available year-round in 16 oz. cans.
Brewer’s Description: “One of Right Brain’s most sessionable beers and a bona fide classic! Effervescent, light in color, subtly malty, and mildly hoppy with strong grapefruit notes.”
My Description: This ale has some negatives but it is refreshing, sessionable, and makes for a good everyday beer. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head that fades to a film that holds most of the way leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is decent but there is nothing too impressive; notes of citrus hops and pine hops stand out along with faint notes of pale malts, but there is also an adjunct grain smell too that seems out of place. Will Power is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is fairly standard with a hint of sweet malt with notes of grapefruit and pine hops. However, the hops don’t taste very fresh but it doesn’t bother too much. There are also hints of cereal grains as well that add at least some depth. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and just like the description on the can says, it is a sharp finish. Overall, this is a solid pale ale and I could see myself putting down a couple of them. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with an arugula salad, grilled asparagus, or fried shrimp.
ABV: 4.2% Color: Golden Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 4/10
CHUBBY SQUIRREL: 78 Points
This Amber Ale/Autumn Ale is a limited release in 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A seasonal spiced ale brewed with real Madagascar Vanilla Beans, Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon, and Lemon Peel. Medium bodied and mildly sweet with a subtle boozy warmth. Perfect for sipping on the porch while you watch the leaves fall.”
My Description: The ingredients and the overall idea of this beer is well thought out but poorly executed. It tastes rather bland with little depth and what comes through on the palate feels like cheap ingredients. It begins with a decent, light beige colored head that fades quick leaving behind no lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of caramel malt, bread, clove, vanilla, and a hint of nutmeg. Chubby Squirrel is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is nothing special but becomes better as it warms. There are notes of vanilla, caramel malt, cloves, and a touch of cinnamon. The aftertaste is minimally bitter but overall this is more on the malty side. This is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with grilled sausage or baked pumpkin pie.
ABV: 5.5% Color: Ruby/Amber Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10