Weekly Beer Review: Good Humans

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Good Humans Double Brown Ale
Short’s Brewing Company
$2.49/Bottle (12 oz)
Grade: B-

The Beginning:
It’s nearly time once again for the Catholic season of Lent – a period of solemn atonement and sacrifice that non-Catholics mostly know as when you give up something that you tried to give up for New Years and failed. Since I’m going to be drinking beer anyway, why not drink a beer with some religious ties to get me in the meditative mind space? The label of Good Humans has three figures that I’m going to guess are Jesus, Shiva, and… Mohammed? I’m really not sure, as I thought pictures of him were taboo, but maybe it’s someone else. At any rate, three Good Humans representing Passion, Humility, and Wisdom. All good things.

The Brewer’s Pitch:
The beer wasn’t even supposed to be permanent- it was a concept car brew, just made to showcase a new malt variety from one of Shorts’ suppliers. It was popular, though, so they brought it on board full time (or at least as a seasonal beer). It’s a double brown with Carabrown malt (I’m not enough of an expert to know if Carabrown is particularly brown, though) and dry hopped for a floral dry finish. Sweet volatile malty aroma is backed up by a huge toasty, caramel-toffee sweetness to package a powerfully strong beer (over 9% ABV) in an easy, low-bitterness package.

The Beer:
Good Humans is a deep, hazy oak-brown with a fluffy yellowish head and an immediate sharp ester aroma. On closer sniff, the nose is a sweetly sappy hops scent with very minor caramel notes. The beer is quite light but not watery- it’s got an almost fluffy texture that effervesces on the tongue and brings flavor to the top of the palate without leaving a coated feeling. The hops are more forward than the description implied. They hit early with a sweetly sappy herbal tang that merges with a sweet creamy-caramel malt profile that lurks in the background. The sweet notes give way to a more conventional hoppy bitterness and some acidic flavors at the back of the palate. Some peppery and almost spicy flavors emerge from the roast, and the beer closes with a dry and delicately bitter hop finish.

The Breakdown:
This beer is hoppier than I like, and hoppier than I was led to believe, but that’s not my problem with it. My problem is the complete underwhelming showing from the malt. Considering that this beer was made purely to showcase their new malt strain, I was expecting big deep layers of sweet roast and grainy esters. Instead I got a hops-forward beer with just enough malt to balance the front end. Now, the hops ARE well used, and they’re not overwhelming. The beer has some body behind it and if you enjoy hops-forward beers, this would be a great one on a cool evening or when you’re in the mood for something with a big of backbone to it. Still, I was let down at the absence of the promised huge hit of sweet caramel and toffee.

The Bottom Line:
I could have been harsher in this review, but I’m a good human. See what I did there?