“Tapping the Keg” is a weekly review of craft beers brought to you by staff writer Dan Wood.
This is a shining example of a creative local beer. So many of the little guys feel the need to get crazy complex flavors and all the sickest artists to design their bottles and cans to draw in beer lovers like myself. To be frank, most times they succeed in doing so and these aspects can really make or break a brewery’s first few beers in the fiercely competitive world craft brewing has become. But too much of anything becomes boring and muddled, and I imagine DuVig sees what I see: crazy designs, labels and too much hops. An excellent example to a counter craft beer is DuVig Brewery’s cream ale.
DuVig is a local brewery located in Branford and has been gaining momentum since its founding in 2013. It offers brewery tasting visits on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
DuVig doesn’t want to assume anything about you with their can design. It’s clean and simple. “Cream ale” is the most visible thing on the front of the can, whereas the rest of the can is white with black and gray accents. Next to what is the standard in the craft brew world, it does have a nice visual contrast.
From the brewers: “Careful now! This may look like the beer you stole from your father’s fridge in the garage all those years ago…trying to impress your friends, but it ain’t your dad’s cream ale. Our cream ale is clean, crisp, and full of flavor. One taste on a sweltering summer day may cause you to forget about mowing the lawn. Why not prop your feet up and enjoy the view instead? You work hard and deserve to savor the moment. Our cream ale will inspire you to live in the moment every time. Don’t take our word for it…you bought the beer…crack open a can and see for yourself!”
This is a great suggestion about when/how to enjoy this beer, but it must be said that this beer is infinitely better when allowed the chance to breathe. When drank out of the can, it tastes a bit like Bud. This beer is a strong “yes” when it comes to the question of, “to pour or not to pour.”
Let’s jump into the tasting. The head is nice and sudsy, but the carbonation is not very dense or big, which implies that the body is light. The head dissipates after a few minutes when poured from the can. This beer is delightfully brass-colored; a pinkish-gold, if you will.
The nose of this ale is very intriguing. It is a little wheaty, but what jumps forward is the subtle candy-like sweetness, reminiscent of dried stone fruits, like apricot. Heading into the top of this beer is very underwhelming if you closely inspected the nose for its delicate subtleties. The top is very mild and gives only the slightest hint of crisp, cool sweetness, like a white grape. The middle is only slightly creamy in a way that is composed of very gentle flavors on the back of the tongue, and the body is very light, making it an ideal summer drink. It’s smooth and refreshing without a compromise on the 4.5 percent ABV. The finish transitions the beer into warmer notes, again all very mild, but with slight tastes of crackers and cane sugar. DuVig really goes for a subtle edge instead of in-your-face-flavor.
This is not exactly the kind of beer you sit down to with a meal. As the brewers suggest, it seems like a great late afternoon reward when the heat has beaten you down. However, this beer would be great with salty snacks on the porch or with any American barbeque fair. Perhaps even an orange creamsicle would be the perfect pairing if you’re lucky enough to see an ice cream truck roll through while you’re kicking back. Unfortunately for CT residents, it doesn’t look like warm weather quite yet. Fortunately for UConn area residents, this beer is available at Price Chopper, Storrs Wine and Spirits and Village Spirit Shoppe for $10 per six-pack of cans.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Dan Wood is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.