Heavy Lift Vessel

Boatswain H.L.V. Ale — American Strong Ale — Minhas Craft Brewery — Monroe, WI, USA

A cheap bomber bottle from the local Trader Joe’s. What could go wrong?

I’ve recently been attempting to eat a more balanced diet, and my confused mind has directed me to TJ’s in order to find healthier alternatives. One great perk to shopping at the Joe’s is the bargain wine and beer aisles that take up half of the store.

And being on a budget, I’m always up for a bargain. $1.99 22oz. craft beer bombers? Yes, please. I spotted the Heavy Lift Vessel on the top shelf and dropped in it my basket.


The beer poured dark brown and produced a nice head of foam. The smell was grainy and sugary, similar to a dark molasses. I opened my blu-ray player, popped in Flight with Denzel Washington, put together a plate of provolone and peppered salami, and let the evening begin.

The taste was more pungent than the smell. The brew was sweet and loaded with toasted malt. I have to admit that the taste was smooth and clean, welcoming, but the texture was thick and syrupy, almost like drinking a bottle of NyQuil.

While the flavor was pleasant, the thickness of the beer caused my appreciation of the brew to fizzle out quickly. The ale developed the sensation of snot clinging to the back of my throat due to its syrup-like mouthfeel, causing me to quickly erase its presence from my tongue with another bite of cheese or meat. I wound up chugging the end of it just to be rid of it.

H.L.V. was much like a malty, alcoholic soda with too much high fructose corn syrup. This might be what some people want, and it wasn’t as bad as I might be making it seem. An awesome deal for two bucks, that’s for sure, but it’s nothing I would ever get excited about.

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