I am a sucker for any kind of beer awards, if I see a listing of best beers I’ll definitely browse through and search for local recipients. I know that there can be issues with these types of awards. The crowd-sourced best beer awards tend to favor whalez, there is a selection bias where the reviewers give higher ratings to sought-after beers. Blind tasting awards are ideal, but they don’t usually give you the full list of entries (just the winners), so you don’t know if it’s the best out of 5 or 500. The medals handed out at the Great American Beer Festival are generally well regarded, they draw a large number of entries, even if they tend to skew towards West Coast breweries. One local winner at last years festival was Robot Crush from Aeronaut Brewing Company in Somerville, which won the gold medal for pilsner. Aeronaut was clearly honored by the award, and it came as no surprise that they added Robot Crush to their beers that they package in cans and distribute.
Aeronaut Robot Crush pours a clear straw yellow with a solid white head. The scent is mostly floral old world hops. This is a flavorful, balanced and crushable pilsner. The hops add notes of grass, herbs and lemon along with a crisp bitter bite. There is also substantial malt flavor, hints of grainy bread and biscuits. Robot Crush has a light body with the crisp and clean finish you expect from a well crafted lager. When my wife took her first taste of this beer her exact reaction was “wow, this is really good”. I completely agree, this is a top-shelf pilsner and I understand why it won the gold medal. Hoppy Boston score; 4.75/5.
Previous Aeronaut Reviews:
Aeronaut A Year With Dr. Nandu, Aeronaut A Session With Dr. Nandu, Aeronaut The Eye of Sauvin
Every year a multitude of new breweries are opening while others are expanding production and opening new taprooms. There isn’t a single business model that these brewers need to follow, there have been many different routes to success. I’ve enjoyed watching the path taken by Aeronaut Brewing Company in Somerville. First they opened their taproom, a fun space to get together with friends and try some beer that immediately became a popular neighborhood hangout. The taproom featured a rotating selection of beers that allowed the brewers to experiment with recipes and eventually come up with a number of popular flagship and seasonal releases. Now that the brand has been established they started expanding production, and recently they began canning and distributing a few on their beers. The first beer canned was A Year With Dr. Nandu, an IPA brewed to celebrate the completion of Aeronaut’s first year in business. The anniversary batch sold out incredibly quickly, but recent runs have made it out to local bottle shops. Aeronaut A Year With Dr. Nandu is brewed with Centennial and Mosaic hops and is available on draft and in 16 oz. tallboy cans.
Aeronaut A Year With Dr. Nandu pours a clear copper with a solid white head. The scent is a solid burst of hops, plenty of citrus and tropical fruit. The flavor is also hop forward, notes of grapefruit, mango, orange and pine along with a solid bitter bite. This is balanced out by some malt flavor, hints of grainy bread, honey and toffee. A Year With Dr. Nandu is medium bodied, easy to drink and not too boozy at 6.3% ABV. The finish is crisp and clean with some lingering hop flavor. The stable of high quality IPAs produced in Massachusetts continues to expand and this beer is definitely climbing up that list. I highly recommend grabbing a four pack of A Year With Dr. Nandu, or swinging by the brewery and grabbing a pint! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Aeronaut Reviews:
Aeronaut A Session With Dr. Nandu, Aeronaut The Eye of Sauvin
My wife and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary this week. Well, “celebrated” might be a slight exaggeration, with our little guy around and not much for babysitting options yet we didn’t exactly go out and light the town on fire. Instead we did lunch at the always delicious Redbones BBQ with our son in tow, and then swung by Aeronaut Brewing Company to share a flight and grab a growler to take home. I have been really impressed with Aeronaut, the space is beautiful, people are nice and knowledgeable, and the beer is very good. I was a little disappointed to miss Aeronaut’s first can release, an IPA that celebrated their first year in business, but I look forward to tasting what they brew during year two. After finishing our sampler I let my wife decide what her favorite beer was, so I could fill my growler for further celebration that evening. Her choice was A Session With Dr. Nandu, Aeronaut’s American pale ale brewed with Mosaic hops. It was nice to see that Aeronaut calls their hoppy and sessionable ale an APA instead of adding to the bloated number of session IPAs on the market. A Session With Dr. Nandu is one of Aeronaut’s regular offerings and it’s currently available on draft and in growlers to go.
Aeronaut Brewing A Session With Dr. Nandu pours a clear copper with a mild white head. The scent is a solid hit of New World hops, significant citrus and tropical fruit. The taste is also full of fruity hop flavors, notes of mango, passion fruit, grapefruit and tangerine along with a subtle but present bitterness. The difference between an APA and a session IPA can be murky, but the lower bitterness here clearly plants this beer firmly in the APA category. The hop flavor is balanced by subdued malt backbone, some crackers and a touch of caramel. The beer is very light bodied and crushable at 4.6% ABV. The finish is clean with just a little lingering hop flavor. Aeronaut A Session With Dr. Nandu is a great all-occasions session beer, tons of flavor but low alcohol and easy to drink, perfect for a BBQ or some day drinking. I continue to enjoy the offerings from Aeronaut and look forward to what they come up with next! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5
Previous Aeronaut Reviews:
Aeronaut The Eye of Sauvin
I don’t go to breweries as much as I would like. Life is busy and I find that I buy more of my beer in bottle shops, which allows me to purchase a variety of styles from different producers all in one stop. I have made a personal goal to visit more local breweries and taprooms this year, with a focus on the places I have yet to patronize. Probably the biggest oversight locally was Aeronaut Brewing in Somerville, considering how close it is to where I live it’s inexcusable how long it took me to get there. When my wife and I were invited by our friend Jenny to grab dinner and then check out the Science by the Pint event at Aeronaut a couple weeks ago I finally remedied this oversight (and heard about some cool science while enjoying some quality beer). One of the beers I sampled was The Eye of Sauvin, a Belgian Pale Ale brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops. Nelson Sauvin hops are native to New Zealand and are known for the fruity white wine-like flavor they impart on the beer. I love the combination of fruity New World style hops with expressive Belgian style yeast strains, when correctly paired they make for some delicious beers. Aeronaut clearly has a successful pairing here because I enjoyed my first taste of The Eye of Sauvin enough to grab a growler to go.
Aeronaut The Eye of Sauvin pours a pale orange with a moderate white head. The scent is a complex mixture of floral hops and expressive Belgian yeast. The yeast leads the flavor with notes of pear, clove, white pepper and apricot. This is complemented by significant hop flavor, grass, lemon and the expected dry white wine. Despite the substantial hop flavor and aroma the beer isn’t very bitter, the hop additions were clearly added in mostly later in the brewing process. The malt backbone is muted, just a hint of cracker grain and caramel that lets the yeast and hops sing. The beer is light bodied and goes down easy, but packs a little punch at 7.2% ABV. The finish is dry with a little fruity ester flavor from the yeast. This was a very enjoyable beer, light but full flavored and perfect for spring. I clearly need to make more trips to Aeronaut to see what else they have to offer! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.