Oct 22, 2010

Black Star Beer

Note: this is a review of a promotional sample received from the brewery.

First brewed in 1995 by the Great Northern Brewing Company (before going on hiatus for a few years), Black Star Beer is a dry hopped American lager that is brewed with a 80/20 mix of Mittelfruh and Czech Saaz hops as seen in the well produced video below.

I cracked open both the can and bottle I received for comparison while grilling up a flank steak on a beautiful evening earlier this week. While I couldn’t really pick up any real difference between the two package types, I did come to the realization that Black Star Beer is a pretty tasty little brew. It’s got a subtle hop character built on a malt backbone and at 4.6% ABV is quite sessionable — fitting in nicely with other craft brewed lagers I’ve enjoyed.


The beer pours a pale gold in color with a frothy white head that faded to patchy lacing.

Black Star BeerBlack Star Beer outside while grilling


The dry hopping comes out nicely in the nose as light, grassy hops mingle with the more dominant, bready malt base. The canned brew had a slight “metallic” note to the aroma, but that may have been preconceived in my head prior to even pouring the beer.


This is certainly a malt heavy brew. A slight sweetness, subtle caramel and biscuity nature of the malts combine with a much lighter hop footprint for a well balance palate. The grassy hops in the aroma (due to the dry hopping) don’t make it into the taste all that much, but there is a light balancing bitterness in the finish to mellow out the sweeter malts. This medium-bodied beer is crisp, clean and damn refreshing.


Of the two samples (bottle vs can), I think I enjoyed the bottle a bit more — it had a cleaner flavor and aroma. Regardless of packaging, I quickly got to the point while grilling when I could have certainly gone for another one (or two) Black Star Beers as the samples had vanished a little too quickly. Great Northern Brewing Company have themselves a well crafted, flavorful lager that I would most certainly pick up the next time I grill — that is if they eventually make it out to the East coast.

Rating: 3/5

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