Rough Draught: An in-depth investigation into the complexities of beer

Betsi Fores The Daily Caller News Foundation
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Loyal readers: We have both bad news and good news to deliver.

The bad news is that esteemed online editor and highly acclaimed beer reviewer, Chris Bedford, has been captured by Caribbean pirates. Last we heard, he was taken against his will, forced to lay beneath palm trees and sip frozen concoctions all day. “Margarita-boarding” is what I think they are call this awful practice. We sympathize with his ales (pun totally intended) and await his safe return.

The good news is, as per our job description, the Daily Caller News Foundation investigative team has been brought in for a special-edition beer review (you’re welcome). We humbly accept the burden of investigating the intricacies and complexities of this weeks beer selections.

‘Moa’ money, ‘Moa’ problems

Fortunately, given our journalistic salaries, we rarely face this well-articulated dilemma, but Moa Brewing Co.’s Moa Noir almost has us singing a different tune.

A little history on the Moa brewery: Josh Scott opened the shop in 2003 to focus on “brewing premium, boutique beers to an every discerning beer market.” I guess you could say he wanted “moa” of the good life.

With a term like “noir” in its name, we thought for a moment we would be drinking wine. Once we poured the brew, however, we wondered if we would be sipping something similar to root beer, but once its aroma reached our noses, we realized we had a full-bodied, dark lager on our hands.

The beer has a chocolaty-coffee aroma with a wisp of smokiness. The flavor is quite similar to the smell, but leaves a good feel in your mouth and goes down smooth. There is also an earthy tone with a considerable bite. The brew’s creators describe it as “a perfect beer for the changing of seasons.” We aren’t quite sure what those seasons are exactly, though.

This New Zealand beer almost has you thinking you are throwing back a pint at the Green Dragon with Frodo, Samwise and crew. Is that Gandolf we just saw strolling by the table? And no Aragorn, I don’t need your sword.

Moa Noir has a 5.5 percent alcohol/vol., and the brewers recommends you drink it in a tulip- or balloon-shaped glass to unleash the full flavoring. We were thinking the beer would be paired well with lamb, but Moa Noir also suggests venison.

So, wait no lager. This dark beer may or may not be flying off of the shelves at the not-so-low price of $3.99 per 12.7 oz. bottle — but it’s well worth it if you are a fan of a tasty dark lager. It just might have you begging for “moa!”

And now we take a trip to the men’s room

Just to clarify, this ain’t no boys room we are talking about. This is grown-up stuff.

Second up is the Elysian Original Red “The Men’s Room.” Inspired by the Seattle-based radio talk show on 99.9 KISW with the same name, (not made in an actual men’s room, ew, gross) this beer has all the makings of a classic Northwestern red ale.

As the creators share on the label, “we like to talk on the radio, we also like beer. So we made this beer just for you.” Works for us, but as an equal opportunity employer, we are still waiting for the “Ladies Room” to be released.

Rushing out of the bottle, this beer flows with a nice opaque coppery tone. Not a lot of mouth feel, but it goes down quite smoothly. It has a sweet, citrus aroma with a noticeably hoppy taste and a nice bitter finish. It will have you sippin’ until the bitter end.

Some quick stats for The Men’s Room Red: It has 5.6 percent alcohol/volume and 33 IBUs. We found a pint and 6 fl. oz. bottle for $5.99. A little price for some, but well worth it when you consider the cause it supports.

Besides being treated to such a skillfully crafted red ale, a “portion of the net proceeds from every Men’s Room Original Red sold goes to helping support the families of our military vets” via the VA Puget Sound Fisher House and the Ft. Lewis Fisher House. So how is that for your conscience?

The men of the Men’s Room made this crafty beer “Because [they] think it’s yummy!” We couldn’t be more grateful. Luckily for you red ale fans, this brew is available year round.

And with that, the investigative team signs off. Have a great St. Patty’s Day. Don’t do anything we wouldn’t do, though, that doesn’t leave much. Cheers! Or as the Irish say, Sláinte!

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