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Two Brothers Atom Smasher

October 9, 2013

It’s wonderful when you find out that a brewery started because someone’s mother told them that they either had to open one or shut the hell up, as is the case with Two Brothers Brewing in Illinois. The two brothers in question (Jim and Jason Ebel) fell into it in the way that many brewers did, they experienced beer abroad, returned to the United States and immediately found what was available here lacking. Homebrewing eventually turned into running a beer and wine making store, and a career brewing in Colorado for Jason while Jim entered law school. As the homebrewing scene continued to expand and their store became more popular, Jason returned home and soon enough he and his brother were talking nonstop about opening their own brewery. Finally, prodded by their mother’s annoyance with the constant conversation, they opened their brewery in 1997 and have been steadily expanding ever since.

It’s no surprise that a brewery that got started because of a love of German beers would put out an Oktoberfest at this time of year. The Two Brothers Atom Smasher is certainly an interesting one to say the least.

At first glance, it seems fairly standard. The beer itself is a perfect clear orange/amber color with a nice clean looking white head. There’s not much scent to it beyond the occasional hint of sweet malt, and the body straddles the line between middle and heavy while the mouthfeel is smooth. It’s the kind of beer you can easily drink an entire liter of and be ready to order another afterward.

What I really found interesting was the distinctive character of the taste. A strong roasted malt flavor hits you from the get go, which is somewhat surprising given the beer’s color but plenty welcome in my opinion. From there it rolls into a sweeter profile that helps keep things light and delicious. Finally, it comes to a mild earthy hop finish that gives it a nice and refreshing bite that you look for in a good Oktoberfest.

Make no mistake, this is not exactly a traditional Oktoberfest beer, but it hits all the points it should in an innovative way. These are the kinds of twists on traditions that American brewing is all about. My hat is off to the guys at Two Brothers, and I suggest you show them your appreciation by grabbing a pint of this wonderful beer.

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