Maplewood Brewing & Distillery’s Tiger Mountain
Maplewood has slowly been brewing up some hype and demand. Their Cuppa series sells out extremely fast – sometimes before I wake up – and their hazy offerings are not that far behind. But their secret weapon are their lagers. They don’t sell out as fast nor do they get those sexy untappd ratings, but Maplewood has put a significant amount of resources into their lager program, even having a yearly celebration for their Pulaski Pils. Tiger Mountain is another lagered offering in the form of a Helles. (A thank you to Maplewood for providing the review can that they didn’t know was a review can.)
In order to meet all the demand, Maplewood has been contract brewing out of Great Central. Their core beers – Pulaski Pils, Son of Juice, Fat Pug, etc. – are all brewed there. Tiger Mountain is another one to add to the list. Great Central is known for brewing lagers and hefeweizens (including a Helles lager of their own), so this beer is in good hands at their facility.
Tiger Mountain pours a clear, lovely golden color with a fair amount of head that eventually dies down as you type your beer review. Nucleation is prevalent as the beer rests in your glass. Big cracker and wheat aromas are supported by lemon, citrus and flower notes. A fair amount going on for a Helles.
Those cracker/bready notes shine when you try the beer; there’s even a hint of sweetness showing up from the malt. The lemon is more upfront on the tongue than on the nose, while the citrus and floral capacities remain about the same. The lemon cracker lingers on the tongue a bit making this a beer that’s easy to finish. There’s some heft from the malt coming across the tongue (not stout hefty, but more hefty than a standard lager).
Refreshing and clocking in at 4.5%, Tiger Mountain drinks as a great patio summer beer or something enjoyable to drink while “training” for Friends online trivia. While Dovetail retains the mantle as the standard for a Helles in Chicago, Maplewood’s offering is enjoyable and flavorful. Given their distribution footprint, Maplewood’s might be the easiest to get and one you should not pass up.
Maplewoord Tiger Mountain released on June 23, 2020 for no-contact pick up at Maplewood’s web site.