Great Raft Brewing prior to this review, but what a pleasant surprise. If I could describe their beers in on word, it would be “refined”. For those of you who haven’t heard of Great Raft Brewing, they are located in Shreveport Louisiana. Great Raft Brewing produces three flagship beers year round: Southern Drawl (a pale lager), Reasonably Corrupt (a black lager), and Commotion (an American pale ale).I received 2 of these, the Southern Drawl and the Commotion, for review, as well as, one of their seasonal beers, the At Arms Length an India Pale Lager. For this review, I’m going to discuss each beer from lightest to darkest.
First we have the Southern Drawl Pale Lager. It’s a nice light and malty beer with some light citrus hops. It’s crisp, clean, and refreshing. Great Raft describes this beer as wildly drinkable. They’re right, I’m going to sneak this into the hands of my non-craft drinking friends and point them in the right direction.
Next we have the Commotion American pale ale. On the label it states this beer is "bold, generously hopped, and balanced." Way to make my job easy because it's a great description. The Commotion starts off on the malty side then goes to the hops for a finish. There are flavors of grapefruit, a slight hint of apricot, and hidden in there a slight bit of creme in between. Nice.
Finally we have the At Arms Length India Pale Lager. Great Raft Brewing. On the label it states that there is an absurd amount of American Hops. I tend to shy away from really hoppy beers, but Great Raft Brewing's description may be doing a disservice to this beer and it's potential consumer. This beer is more balanced than some uncomfortably hoppy West Coast beers. Remember when I said refined. This is it, a very solid beer. It has flavors of wheat with hints of citrus and floral notes. It's slightly bitter and has a good dry finish. I paired this beer with prime rib and it was a great match. Even a good burger would be a great match. Call this one the favorite for me.
Now for the sad part. Remember when I said I hadn’t heard of them before? Well it’s because they’re not available everywhere. In fact, checking their website it seems Great Raft Brewing is only available in Louisiana and the very east side of Texas. Too bad, but I expect this to change soon enough. The beer is too good to stay regional.