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Lakefront Snake Chaser

November 19, 2012

Lakefront is an upstanding brewery out of Wisconsin. As I discussed the last time I reviewed one of their beers, their origins lay in a gag gift that reignited a sibling rivalry between the two brothers that founded Lakefront. I recently was able to taste their go at an Irish Stout, the aptly named Snake Chaser.

A quick word on how I feel whenever I see a craft brewery make an Irish Stout. The immediate comparison to draw, and obviously the comparison they want you to draw is to Guinness. There’s only two ways for a brewery to go with such a beer though. Either you’re searching to be distinct from Guinness while still maintaining the low ABV, light body, and rich chocolate flavor that characterizes Guinness and thus the presumed style of an Irish Stout. In other words, how far away from Guinnss can we get before we have to call it something else. Or you’re basically looking to clone Guinness.

Now, I can say I’m a fair judge because while I was living outside our nation’s capital, I drank many many pints of Guinness. When I’m at a bar and they have no craft beer selection, not even a Sam Adams, I will still get a Guinness. It’s a delicious beer, low in alcohol content, and easy to drink.

The Lakefront Snake Chaser definitely falls more into the clone category rather than the “Fleeing the Flavor,” category of Irish Stouts. It pours a rich dark black with just a hint of dark brown hues at the edge, and a light brown head that has neatly settled atop it. There is the barest scent of roasted malt, mixed in with what might have been toffee or caramel. The body of this beer was very light, and it went down smooth. At the top of the taste are light flavors of cream and toffee that give way to stronger flavors of roasted malt. The finish of the beer is strong, and once more entrenched in the chocolately flavors of the roasted malt more than anything else.

Overall, when it comes to Guinness clones this is actually fairly spot on with just enough difference to make it worth ordering over the original. Also, much like its inspiration, it’s a delicious, low-ABV, light-bodied beer that you can drink for hours.

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