If I walk into a local bottle shop and see offerings from a brewery I am unfamiliar with it is a pretty good bet that I will grab something to try. This is especially true if the beer is brewed in New England. I try to keep up to date on the ins and outs of the local brewing scene, but it is changing so rapidly some pieces of news slip through the cracks. While I had heard of Pioneer Brewing Company I had yet to try any of their beers, so I quickly snatched a bottle when I saw it on the shelf at Craft Beer Cellar. Pioneer Brewing Company produces it’s beer at Old Burnside Brewing in East Hartford, CT. As a tribute to the pioneers that settled the west, Pioneer Brewing has created the Manifest Destiny series of bold and boozy ales and lagers. One of the releases in this series is Into The Woods, a double Vienna lager. I can safely say that I’ve never sampled a beer that called itself a double Vienna lager, which was another clear reason to buy this beer and give it a shot. Into The Woods is available on draft and in 22 oz. bombers.
Pioneer Brewing Company Into The Woods Double Vienna Lager pours a clear light caramel brown with a mild off-white head. The scent is pretty mild, just a hint of light maltiness. The taste is very malt forward, notes of toffee, honey, whole grain bread and crackers. This is followed by just a touch of earthy and grassy hops. The beer is medium bodied and pretty drinkable for 9% ABV. You do get some alcohol in the flavor, especially in the finish, which leaves a little boozy heat on the tongue. Into the Woods is a very interesting beer, I can say without pause that I’ve never tried anything similar. Not sure if I like the higher alcohol in the style, I usually prefer my lagers smooth and crisp, the booze overwhelms this just a little, but I do like the creativity and would definitely try more of Pioneer’s offerings. Hoppy Boston score: 3.75/5.