The hypnotic design of The Fermentorium’s Never a Frown stuck out from the end of the aisle. The reason the label is part of a HopDuel is because of the influence it has on the buying decision. I saw this can, and it jumped out at me because of the design and the fact that it was a little bigger than most others around it at a full pint instead of 12oz. There are lessons here for any new brewer: your packaging is almost as critical as the taste of your beer, (well, if you want to sell it anyway).
So clearly I’m a fan of the Never a Frown in this one (spoiler alert), and that’s probably going to win the label category. Up against it I have an American Brown Ale from Boulevard Brewing. This is another beer from the multi-pack I purchased awhile ago, and it’s labeled as part of their tasting room series. According to their website, the tasting room series was “created to allow our brewers the chance to experiment with new styles, recipes, ingredients and processes, the line of Tasting Room beers also gives Boulevard fans the chance to try beers that were previously only available in our Tasting Room or Beer Hall.” I can certainly buy into that program. Let’s see how it went.
|Better label||Fermentorium Never a Frown American Brown|
|Better aroma||Boulevard Brewing American Brown Ale|
|Better taste||Boulevard Brewing American Brown Ale|
|Better finish||Boulevard Brewing American Brown Ale|
|Winner||Boulevard Brewing American Brown Ale|
Tell us about it
True to my expectations from Boulevard, their American Brown Ale was fantastic. A well balanced blend of caramel malt, oats, barley and hops. This is what a Brown Ale should taste like and I couldn’t recommend it more to anyone looking to give the category a try. Honestly, the Fermentorium taste like it may have gone bad, which obviously puts a damper on the review of a beer. I’m not sure if that’s on the store I bought it from or the brewer, but I was expecting a better showing.