Monday, October 10, 2011

Short Stuff

I used to buy Rhinelander Export at least 10 years ago when it was produced in 12-ounce brown returnable bottles by Huber Brewing Co. in Monroe, WI. These bottles were distributed in sturdy, reusable cardboard boxes. The bottles and boxes were great for homebrewers (I still have a few of them) but are sadly no longer available as the new owners of the brewery went to much cheaper packaging. It's been quite awhile since I've had a Rhinelander Export and even longer since I've had Rhinelander Bock (all the way back to college.) The Bock is no longer produced, but Rhinelander is back in a retro seven-ounce brown stubby bottle. I had to pick up a couple of these little guys (they were only 79 cents each) on a recent trip to Wisconsin. I even considered buying a case. It turns out a case (for $11.49) might have been hard to swallow. The beer pours a clear yellow with just a bit of fizz. It smells like cheap beer: a sort of fresh, worty aroma with a little puff of vanilla. Rather sweet without being cloying. It has sort of a marshmallow-like powdery sweetness which coats the tongue. The finish is a touch sweet and just short of unpleasant. I think the case of Shortys should be a little cheaper as I remember paying about 13 bucks for a whole case of 12-ounce bottles about 10 years ago, but I couldn't resist the packaging.