Thursday, October 24, 2013

Creature feature: Gourdzilla and Goatman deliver the goods

You might say the theme of the day is mythological creatures. Except, the creatures in question aren't quite like those you've heard or read about in Greek mythology (i.e. centaurs and minotaurs). No, these are something else entirely.

One is half-man, half-goat and based on a local legend surrounding the Goatman of White Rock Lake. The other, a sort of glimpse into what might happen in a movie called Godzilla Meets the Gourd.

Individually, they represent limited edition brews from Lakewood and Deep Ellum, respectively. Together, we'll call them creatures of the craft beer kind.   

Gourdzilla from Deep Ellum

Image credit: Deep Ellum Brewing Company
I know that "spokesthing" isn't a word, but I'm not sure how else to refer to the pumpkin-headed reptile Deep Ellum has trotted out with their newest seasonal brew, Gourdzilla. Based on how the thing looks, and its antics in an introductory video, it would be only natural to expect Gourdzilla to be a beast of a beer. Ah, but looks can be deceiving.

Gourdzilla is the first beer from Deep Ellum's newly hired brewing team of Jeremy Hunt and David Hauptman. And the truth is it's actually pretty...nice. Delicate even. It's got wisps of smoke, pumpkin spice, earthy sweet potato and maybe a hint of tannic bitterness. Flavors are mild, well-balanced and the beer is about as easy drinking as it can be. Not what you expected to hear, is it? Imagine that, a pumpkin and spice beer that doesn't hit you over the head with pumpkin and spice.

Go go Gourdzilla!

Goatman from Lakewood

Image credit: Lakewood Brewing Company

Right about the time you raise your glass for that one last sip, it hits you. If Temptress had a long lost brother who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, he'd be a lot like Goatman. He's a little grittier, not as sweet, and he's obviously hopped up on something. Throw in the legend of him being an ill-tempered, trash-tossing terror, with the obvious "Beauty and the Beast" reference and it all just fits.

Strictly speaking, the only thing these siblings have in common is a taste of dark chocolate, as there are a handful of ingredients that set them apart. Lactose sugar makes Temptress sweeter, while Goatman brings more roasted malt to the fore (the grittier part, if you will) and is dry-hopped with Simcoe to give it a dank, resinous hop character. As for the chocolate, it's not nearly as intense in Goatman as it is in Temptress, but it's definitely there.

Goatman is the third release in Lakewood's Legendary Series, and is billed as a cross between an Imperial IPA and a schwarzbier. It's a lager, as opposed to an ale, but that shouldn't be construed to imply a lack of flavor. There may not be any esters, but there's enough of everything else that you probably won't even notice.

Look for both on tap and in 22 oz bottles.

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