Jul 18, 2017

Smartmouth Brewing Alter Ego

Alter Ego is my first encounter with Smartmouth Brewing out of Norfolk, Virginia. The brewery has been around for about seven years now, but this is the first time that I’ve crossed paths with any of their products in the northern end of the state. Alter Ego, their flagship beer, is a 6.2% (33 IBU) saison-style ale. Beyond that, I don’t know much about the brew except it’s got pretty slick artwork adorning its can.

As for what’s in the can, Alter Ego is a fairly subdued saison. It presents a quiet aroma with hints of grain, a gentle funk and yeasty notes like that of a hefeweizen, imparting banana notes. The flavors are very similar as a solid amount of yeast presents a strong banana flavor and gentle funkiness while crackers and grain linger.

This saison isn’t a bad beer — it’s got a refreshing quality that I particularly enjoyed — but there’s just way too much banana in here for my own personal liking. It’s like a hefe snuck into the fermenter while Alter Ego was doing its thing. Maybe that was the goal of this beer all along. It would suit its moniker. As a beer drinker who is rather particular about that banana flavor, I’ll pass on this one in the future, but will certainly check out the company’s other products should the opportunity arise.