5/15/16: Off Color Brewing's Scurry

3:48 PM

I've been looking forward to this. Ever since my last, and first, experience with Off Color, I've seen a few more of their brews at my local beer store but haven't purchased any. However, last weekend Michelle and I decided to go to a liquor store and get spendy in celebration of my completion of the second semester of my grad program.

She bought wine. I bought two things: a bottle of cider and a four-pack of beer. I drank the cider that night, but I've been sitting on the beer. Until now. Here we are, a week later, and I'm about to break into Off Color's Scurry.

For those of you who don't remember the history bit I gave during my last Off Color post, or are too lazy to click the link above to read it, let me give you a little refresher. According to the brewery's about pageJohn Laffler and Dave Bleitner dreamed up Off Color in 2008 while interning for Metropolitan Brewing. Since then, they've launched the taproom-less brewery and have a slew of really talented people working with them. Oh yeah, and they both attend the Siebel Institute's Master Brewer Program.

What about Scurry, though, you ask? Well, according to my bottle (as well as the brewery's beer page, on which you can find info about Scurry) it's a Dark Honey Ale. The website says it's based upon a little-known style of German beer called Kottbusser. It's a dark, dry beer that has sweet tendencies, thanks to its not-so-secret ingredients of honey and molasses (and flaked oats), and an ABV of 5.3%.

Scurry has an aroma of honey and molasses, that's for sure. It's the undertones I've come to expect from a Christmas brew without the "in your face" kick of nutmeg and cinnamon. It's simple, elegant, and sweet. Purrl gave my bottle five whiffs. Háma (not pictured) must have liked it more, because he gave it seven whiffs before turning away.

On the flavor front, there is a certain dryness to the ale. But it's somewhat masked by the sweetness lent by the honey and molasses. Speaking of those ingredients, they blend incredibly well with the darker malts used in the creation of Scurry. On the whole, this tastes like a beer that is much more expensive than it is (and, at $10 a four-pack, it's already slightly more pricey than what I typically buy).

The ale's mouthfeel is throwing me through a loop. It's effervescent and light, but heavy at the same time. Maybe that heaviness is my mind playing tricks on me--I know it's a dark beer and that dark beers are heavy. But, I don't think that's the case. It's an intriguing bit of flair, brought on through expert craftsmanship, that adds to the quality of the brew.

At the end of the road on which I grew up, there used to be a vacant lot. Some time before my family moved into the neighborhood, someone built a ladder going up and a small platform on top of a tree on that lot. My brother, the neighborhood kids, and I whiled away quite a few summer afternoons in and around that tree. There was a creek running around it and we'd take turns jumping over it. At one point, one of us (I could've been, and probably was, me--I can't exactly recall) fell into it. It was fun. Dragonflies, cicadas, tall grass, clear and sunny skies, the whole place was the epitome of the perfect Calvin and Hobbes-esque summertime experience.

I've been back to the neighborhood in recent years. That lot isn't vacant now. Somebody's come in and built a house too nice for the surrounding residences on it. But, regardless of what's become of the place, my memories of it remain intact. And, with this bottle in hand, that's where I find my mind wandering now.

Off Color Brewing's Scurry is a damn good beer. Full of character and flavor, it's an experience that, should you encounter it, shouldn't be missed. I'm giving at a 9.5/10 and am anxiously awaiting my next Off Color brew.

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