Since we are smack in the middle of Louisiana Craft Brewers Week, I’m going to stick to reviews of beers from Louisiana breweries this week.
Shreveport’s Great Raft Brewing recently expanded their distribution footprint to include both the Baton Rouge and Northshore markets after bringing their beer to New Orleans in late 2014. Their 3 flagship beers are all canned, and include Southern Drawl pale lager, Reasonably Corrupt schwartzbier (a black lager) and Commotion American pale ale. Here’s what Great Raft has to say about Commotion:
This pale ale has a slightly fruity aroma, with an upfront hop bitterness of grapefruit and citrus.This bold but balanced, dry-hopped ale is faintly sweet but balanced by generous amounts of the finest American hops.
The recipe for Commotion was tweaked earlier this year, and now includes lots of Citra and Mosaic hops. Commotion pours a light amber color with a quickly fading off white head. The Mosaic hops are instantly recognizable with their token tropical, citrusy and slight green oniony (is that a word?) aroma. The Citra hops get slightly lost behind the dominant Mosaic hops in this beer. The flavor follows the aroma, with notes of mango and grapefruit, with a touch of pine. There is some slight bready malt apparent, but the hops are the star of this show. The finish is dry and crisp, making it an easy drinker. The can says this beer weighs in at 5.5%, while the website says 5.2%. Either way, there isn’t a whole lot of alcohol present.
My only complaint about this beer is not really a complaint. I’ve become really sensitive lately to the green onion aroma and flavor that Mosaic hops can impart upon a beer. Many people don’t get that, but I’ve had a lot of beers brewed with Mosaic lately, and I get it from all of them. I recently brewed an IPA with both Mosaic and Citra hops, and I get a very similar profile from it as I do Commotion. I think this may be like cilantro, in that certain people are really susceptible to tasting the green onion, and I must fall in that group.
I still find it enjoyable, and certainly am happy to have fresh cans of this readily available. It’s definitely a good tailgate beer since it’s full of flavor but low in ABV. Great Raft is doing a nice job of ensuring we have fresh Commotion cans in this market, and hopefully they keep that up.