It all began with my dad’s 60th birthday party. He stocked the cooler with some of his favorite beers, and I noticed he picked two beers with Labs as their mascot/namesake. This got me thinking of doing a Thunderdome-esque throwdown between different beers that have some sort of similarity, and continue on a weekly basis. Up first, with the Avery Meet the Brewer looming, is the Battle of the Labs. While these beers are two different stylistic beers, they have very similar labels and ingredients. Both have been around the block a time or two, and have racked up many awards! See how they stack up!
Beer Style: American Brown Ale
Hop Variety: Bullion, Sterling
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, Chocolate, Munich, Honey malt, Caramel 120
OG: 1.056 ABV: 5.5% IBUs: 28 Color:Deep Russet
Beer Style: Scottish Ale
Hop Variety: Chinook, Willamette
Malt Variety: 2-Row, Chocolate, Crystal, Carapils
OG:? ABV: 5.0% IBUs:? Color: Deep Red
Both Laughing Lab and Ellie’s label show a labrador dog facing to the right, but as we look closer, Ellie’s lab looks a bit more stoic, while Bristol’s Lab seems to be “laughing” and more playful thanks to Luke Flowers’ unique illustration.
The beers actually somewhat match their respective dogs portrayed in the label, with the Ellie’s being the closest. Avery’s is very symmetrical, while Bristol’s has more of a off-centered balance.
Ingredient-wise, both beers feature 2-row barley with caramel and roasted malts, with Ellie’s adding Munich and Honey malt(one of my favorites).
|Ellie’s had less head than Laughing Lab, but stuck around a bit more, helping add to the mouthfeel.|
|Laughing Lab had a great head of foam to start but dissipated quickly.|
Thoughts on Ellie’s: Roasty aroma, chocolate shines through. Tastes just like it smells, roasty, sweet and smooth. I could sip on this forever.
Thoughts on Laughing Lab: Caramel-sweet aroma, very malty. Tastes a bit bitter, but smooths out in the end.
In the end, these are both excellent beers, but there has to be a winner in a Thursday Throwdown. I grew up loving Laughing Lab, but Ellie’s is quickly nuzzling its way into my fridge. Since I have to choose, I pick the darker, more chocolatey Lab.
Ellie’s Brown in the Red corner is the first Throwdown winner. I found myself opening more than one of these tonight, and that’s what makes a great beer, drinkability…and the cute dog on the label.
Check in next Thursday for another Throwdown, and if you have any ideas for the future, please leave a comment!