With the up and coming football season closing in, I’d thought it’d be a good idea to Brewview a beer that is intended for game time consumption. Hence, Hamburg Brewing Company’s 550 Gametime. 550 Game Time is an American Pale Ale brewed in collaboration with Hamburg Brewing Company and WGR 550 Sports Radio. With a reliable brewing company and an amazing sports radio station, this beer has some big shoes to fill. I have no doubt in my mind that those shoes will be easily filled by the end of this Brewview!
What were the intentions when brewing this beer? Hamburg Brewing Company answers that question on their website:
“This genuine take on the pale features a mild and malty sweetness balanced out by a crisp and clean finish. It was designed with low bitterness and pleasant aromas in mind to accentuate the subtle power that lies within some of the great American citrus variety hops.”
With that as our guide into the 550 Game Time journey, let’s get moving!
The Beer: 550 Game Time by Hamburg Brewing Company in collaboration with WGR 550 Sports Radio
ABV: 5.50 IBU: 30
Hop Profile: Magnum
Malt Profile: Pilsner
Cracking the Bottle Open
Just by popping the cap off the bottle I was hit with some easily noticeable aromas. In the aroma sector Hamburg was spot on with what they stated on their website. Without difficulty I can label these aromas as ‘pleasant,’ gently nipping away at my nose. The two main aromas I am picking up on are citrus and pine. Both are easily pinned to Simcoe and Cascade hops. Simcoe is well known for its use in West Coast IPAs, giving us its distinct pine aroma. If I am not sure what hops are used in a beer and I pick up on pine or danky aromas my thoughts always go to Simcoe hops. Cascade hops give us that classical citrus aroma that are notable in the different sorts of Pale Ales.
What does this beer look like in a glass? Exactly what a game time beer should look like. Full of energy and carbonation that is easily seen through the crystal clear golden straw color. The head on 550 Game Time was not anything to write about though it does leave that quintessential residue on the side of the glass. This beer is building up some anticipation for me with it’s aromas and mouth watering appearance.
Now comes the time to see if Hamburg Brewing Company can live up to its build up of 550 Game Time. I’ve already slammed a few sips down and I’m sure it’ll comes as no surprise they were spot on. At the beginning of every sip I am getting a generous amount of hop flavor that gives way to the Pilsner and Vienna ‘malty sweetness’ Hamburg spoke of. The hop flavors are being quite difficult to obtain a complete grasp of. Overall, just as in the aromas I picked up on previously, a combination of pine and citrus is my the impression I am getting. When I say combination, I mean just that. These flavors do no stand out individually, but in a perfect alliance. The only distinct hop flavor that I am able to pick up on is a very minor fruit flavor. And for that I am going to hold the Centennial hops accountable. The pine award goes to the Simcoe hops and the citrus award goes to a pairing between Cascade and Centennial.
The only hops that I did not speak of yet are the Magnum hops, a well known bittering hop that keep clear of aromas. With an Alpha Acid Range from 15-18% it can be quite easy to see why Magnum hops are frequently used for bittering. Though in this case, 550 Game Time gives us an IBU rating of only 30, which I agree with. Hamburg states in their presentation of the beer that it has ‘a crisp and clean finish.’ Which in my mind is perfectly accurate.There is no prolonged taste in your mouth, the sweet malt flavor gives way to a solid clean and crisp finish. Which if I am watching a football game along side my beer will be some chicken wings, and this beer would go perfect with those wings. A solid attribute to have as a game time beer! Solid!
The End is Upon us
I’m finding it quite easy to write my final concluding thoughts. And I think that is because Hamburg brewed a delicious and easy to write about beer. 550 Game Time is a solid beer, though it would not be one I would get any random time. For me this beer would most likely fill my mug during a sports game. A true calling for a beer! For the next few months that will be Bills games leading into Sabres game. But I do not find this to be a terrible feature to have, in my eyes certain beers have a specific time frame or purpose of consumption. In 550 Game Time’s case I would like to think this is exactly what Hamburg and WGR 550 had in mind when brewing 550 Game Time. So overall I am pleased with 550 Game Time and will likely find myself buying it any chance I get while watching Bills games.
Cheers to Hamburg Brewing Company and WGR 550 for giving us this delicious beer to enjoy!
Thank you readers I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it and drinking the beer. May your glass be forever full!