The first thing that comes to mind when I think fixed gear is the Little 500. If you’re familiar with the 1979 film Breaking Away, then you know what I’m talking about. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the film, the Little 500 is a 50 mile bike race that has been taking place at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN since 1951. It’s a charity event that raises money for scholarships, and the bicycles used in the race are fixed gears.
While I would love to tell you that I picked up a bottle of this beer as part of a mixed six pack while making a pit stop at the local beer store on the way home from a leisurely bike ride, this simply isn’t true (if it were true, I would have secured the six pack to my bicycle using one of these). I got in the car, drove to the store, payed for my beer, and then drove home. That’s not much of a back story, but it is the truth. I need to work on my embellishment skills.
Before I get to my review, here are more than a few words about this beer taken directly from the Lakefront Brewery website:
Inspired by the energy and audacity of the fixed gear courier, Lakefront Brewery ran smack into this arresting creation. Fixed Gear is a big, bold American red ale. It pours a glaring crimson tone with a rocky white head and a brilliant floral-citrus aroma, thanks to an aggressive dry hopping. Its immodest, malty spine and intrepid caramel flavors blow in via gratuitous amounts of 2-row pale and dark caramel malts. A balanced citrus bite comes from Chinook and Cascade hops followed shortly by mild, fruity esters from the ale yeast. Weighing in at a mean 6.8% ABV and 54 IBU’s, this one’s got an attitude.
And now for my impressions of this beer…
- Appearance: Auburn color with a thick tan head that lingers for a bit and then dissipates to a thin layer.
- Aroma: Subtle notes of sweet honey graham cracker and citrusy hops, i.e. kinda like honey tangerines.
- Taste: Medium bodied with creamy carbonation. Sweet malt at the onset with the hops immediately following as you approach the middle. They balance each other really well and carry you through to the finish. The bitterness intensifies a bit at the finish, but never overwhelms. Slightly astringent at the very end.
- ABV: 6.8%
Since I’m not familiar with this brewery, I had no clue what to expect from this beer. Let’s just say that I’m more than pleasantly surprised by Lakefront Brewery’s Fixed Gear. If I had to compare it to something else, I’d say that it reminds of Maine Beer Company’s Zoe, but a much less hoppy version. For a 6.8% ABV beer, I found this to be very easy drinking and well balanced. Fixed Gear is a tasty beer! I will definitely be exploring this brewery’s other offerings.