I know its been a long hiatus – but I am finally back in the saddle, as I have settled in now here in #RVa, transitioned into a new job and have started feeling out more of the local beers in the area.
So, to kick things off – I decided to go with a beer that is associated to a subject near and dear to my heart…..Baseball.
As many of you know, back in the day I played some (very) minor league ball in Germany. Originally with the Fürth Pirates, I transferred to the Augsburg Alligators (now just the Gators) when I was working at Gablingen. There was only free beer to look forward to, and I really just played for the “Love of the Game”.
Even though I lived in CoMO, right between the Royals and the Cards, it was still two hours either way – and made making games difficult.
Luckily, Richmond (RVa) has their own Minor League club – The Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Last season, we caught a game late in the season, it was a ton of fun (although @Debi_Bell doesn’t really understand the heckling part). We found the night affordable and great seats can be had for a reasonable price. Of course, @JAM_Bell loves all sports – so he was totally into it.
This season – The Squirrels have teamed up with local brewery, Center of the Universe Brewing Company, to bring us a baseball themed beer……Chin Music.
Originally (back in the 1800’s) “Chin Music” was a way to describe heckling from the fans. This meaning changed around the time of the WWII, when it was defined a pitch that is thrown near the batter's face. The intent could be to brush him back, set up the batter for an outside pitch or just be intimidating.
If anyone has seen me heckle (SkinnyJ) or how @JAM_Bell pitches…..you would see how I immediately fell in love with the name.
All that left was for them to sway me with the beer. How was it?
Style: Vienna Lager
Source: 12 oz. can
Appearance - A dark amber (almost burnt bronze) hue, which a cream colored head. The foamy head held well throughout the sampling, with consistent thickness and asymmetrical lacing. Clarity was excellent, and I believe this can be attributed to the filtering process to remove excess yeast.
Nose – A sweet caramel and nut aroma with just a hint of woody bark.
Taste – I found this one interesting for me – because the flavor profile seemed backwards. Instead of the sweetness being on the front of the tongue – I got a slight bitter taste up front. Meanwhile, this smoothed out on the palate and sweetened up towards the back of the tongue. Don’t get me wrong – with the distinctly roasted malts, nutty flavor and oily mouthfeel, I enjoyed it….I was just caught off guard.
Overall – With the low level of hoppyness, this beer really relies on its sweetness and malty flavor profile to carry it through….which I found it does quite nicely. They balance themselves well – and I can see how this would go over well at the ballpark, especially to a general audience.
I always love and support local breweries and businesses, and when I find two collaborating like the Squirrels and CotU, I have to applaud the effort.
While I didn’t get to experience my first “Chin Music” at the ball park (something I plan to rectify soon), I really did enjoy this beer. I can truly appreciate the craftsmanship involved, and (although it not my favorite style) I would definitely stock it as a local beer for friends that come over and look for a lighter offering.
As a solid showing by Center of the Universe Brewing Company, I would rate this beer a solid 4 out of 5. Well done and I look forward to trying a few more of your beers soon.