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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dundee Gets It!


Just before our next Beer Club, I wanted to give a shout out to a beer that took me by surprise. It's Dundee's India Pale Ale! If you recall, at our last Beer Club meeting, Dundee's Festival Ale fared quite well. This is not to knock Dundee, it's just that their Honey Brown, while a decent enough beer, always seemed to me to be a bit safe. It came out in the early part of the craft beer renaissance, and like many of the larger breweries, it was an attempt to test the craft beer waters without losing it's swimsuit. Michelob had Michelob Dark, Lowenbrau had their dark beer etc. The trouble was, the most distinctive thing about these beers was the color. Close your eyes and it was tough to tell them from their lighter brother. While Honey Brown was certainly bolder and makes for a very nice session beer, it wasn't going to knock your socks off.

Lately, however, High Falls Brewery (which produces Dundee) seems to be jumping in with both feet. They have rebranded J.W. Dundee as Dundee, and, judging by the Festival Ale and now their IPA, are letting their hair down a bit and not fearing the hops.

Their IPA has a wonderful copper color with a good, creamy amber head. Very good nose as the hops jump right out at you. The bottle says "Bold and Bitter" and I'll be darned if it isn't. It starts with a nice malty/hoppy balance and finishes with a very satisfying bitter bite. And here's some really good news: only $6.99 for a sixer. Not bad by craft beer standards. Dundee has six year-round brews: Pale Bock Lager, Porter, Wheat Beer, Honey Brown, Pale Ale and IPA.

Here's a link to High Falls Brewery's web site. Lots of interesting stuff there and I borrowed (stole) heavily for the section below. Hope they don't mind. Check out their site for a more in-depth look at the High Falls Story.

A little history:
The current High Falls Brewery originated as the Rau and Reisky Brewery in 1857 in Rochester, NY. It was located next to the highest of three water falls. These were great places for breweries back then because, without refrigeration, caves were cut into the solid rock walls which provided excellent insulation.

In 1878 the name was changed to the Genesee Brewing Company by new owner Mathius Kondolf.

The brewery continued until 1919 when Prohibition forced its closing. In 1932 Louis Wehle purchased it and part of the Barthelomay Brewery to create the new Genesee Brewing Company.

In 1952, Miss Genny is unveiled - the company's most successful advertising campaign.

1994 - J.W. Dundee's Honey Brown Lager is introduced.

2000 - Genesee is reorganized as High Falls Brewery

2008 - J.W. Dundee becomes Dundee and more craft type beers are brewed - six year round and 4 seasonal.

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