Now, the problem here was we now had a number of different styles which made it rather difficult to equitably compare. So we just decided to enjoy the beers and comment on each without the need to rate one against the other.
Next up was Mayflower Brewing's Autumn Wheat Ale. This is one that was picked because of its nautical theme. This is an interesting beer in part because it is a wheat beer which doesn't look or taste like a typical wheat beer. I have a perhaps unfair prejudice against wheat beers because my gut reaction when I see one is that it is a light, bland brew and I immediately pass it over for something else. It seems that wheat beer is the mega-breweries' default brew of choice when they want to pretend to be making a craft beer. Having said that, Mayflower's Autumn Wheat Ale is a pleasant surprise. First off the color was a surprise: a deep, dark rich charcoal hue. Coupled with a nice, full caramel-colored head it quickly became clear that this was not your typical wheat beer. And indeed it isn't. It has a very distinctive taste which we all struggled to nail down. The best description is that it had a kind of burnt malt flavor ("burnt" is not a negative here - it was quite pleasing) with a hint of coffee. A very drinkable beer.
Next we had another Mayflower beer, their IPA. We hit this one right after Great Lakes so the discussion centered around comparing the two. In general the beer was well received on its own merits but fell a little short by comparison. "Not as malty...A little nuttier...flowery scent...A little lighter than the Commodore...A little stronger? ... Not a bad beer, I could drink this!" Beer tasting, when it comes to good craft beers at least can be pretty subjective. As you can see from the above comments, one member felt it was lighter than Commodore Perry while another considered it stronger. Makes for an interesting discussion. We have has some members whose preferences are fairly narrow while others enjoy a wide variety of beers. (We even have one who at times admits to drinking Coors Light while on the golf course. The rest of us try not to hold this against him and I won't divulge his name here as I don't wish to bring shame and humiliation to his family. Suffice it to say we consider these BOTB meetings to be therapy for him; a kind of intervention light if you will - gently leading him away from the evils of the Macro brew demons.) Apologies for the extended parenthetical tangent.
Anyhow, cudos to Wegmans for maintaining such an impressive array of beers."
Up next: Seasonal Beers - Oktoberfest, Harvest Ales etc.