dsc011701“If you took a bunch of dirty socks, put them in a tub of warm water, let it soak for a week, and then drank the water from that tub, this is what Frame Straightener tastes like to me.”
       — The Fiance

I regrettably concur.

It kills me to pan a beer from a local brewer (and when I say local I mean rural southwestern Minnesota). I’m all about supporting what is a growing craft beer industry in the region. But this beer makes it real hard for me to get behind what seems to be a continuing trend for Brau Brothers. I’ve had a couple other offerings from them, and have been more than underwhelmed by all of them. This one, however, takes the cake.

Supposed to be a Belgian pale ale, but honestly is one of the most undrinkable beers I’ve had, made worse from the fact that it’s produced by what I’d like to think would be a scrappy, innovative microbrewery. This is part of their Single Batch limited release series (I think they shipped 1400 cases of it), and in some ways I’m thankful. Frame Straightener is more reminiscent to your standard macro than anything that resembles a Belgian. In fact, there’s something a little rancid about it. Terribly disappointing.

Pours nice with a decent ruby reddish coloring, very promising. Then it all falls apart. Offensively sour aroma. Like bad breath. You can just barely tell that it’s trying to be some kind of Belgian, as some yeast gets through, but it’s just incredibly weak. Taste is just as bad. More of the terribly sour characteristic, almost overpowering in how it hits the back of your tongue. When you take a couple sips and realize it’s going to be a chore to get through the entire 12 ounces, you know you’ve got yourself a pretty poor beer. I checked out Beer Advocate to determine if my experience was way off the mark, because maybe I’d gotten a tainted batch. I wanted to give Brau Brothers the benefit of the doubt. But unfortunately, most other reviews seemed to back up the less than desirable nature of this one (average rating C).

When I buy commercial beer at $11 a six pack that’s noticeably below the quality of what I can produce in my own amateur brewing operation, that’s not a good thing.

Rating: D-

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