A Confusion of Coconut

by Jim Lundstrom

A friend who lives in Florida gifted me with a can of Big Rod Coconut Ale, a blonde ale from the Miami Brewing Co.
It pours with a persistent white head that leaves sheafs of lacing with each sip.
There’s no coconut aroma that I can discern, but there is a rich toasted coconut flavor to this soft blonde 5.3 percent ale.
I think I prefer coconut in a dark beer with chocolate notes, because here in a blonde ale, the coconut swaggers through like it owns the place, right down to the finish, and even more so once it warms up a little. In short, it confuses my palate.
What the hell is going on here, it yells at me with each sip. Don’t worry, I answer, there’s only one can.
Not to say this is a bad beer, but it’s not doing it for me.

I was happy to see a four-pack of Toppling Goliath Brewing’s Dorothy’s New World Lager. The Decorah, Iowa, brewery makes a very nice unfiltered lager – simple yet flavorful.
Having a one-track mind and thinking everything ultimately relates to The Wizard of Oz (anyone remember Zardoz?), I naturally think the Dorothy in the title refers to Dorothy Gale, keeper of the ruby slippers. But, no, it refers instead to the founder’s grandmother. OK.
Being unfiltered, it pours a hazy gold with a respectable white head. The taste is the very definition of beer. This is a very easy-drinking lager. Bready maltiness with a grassy herbal hop nudge.
Is that a hint of saltiness at the finish? 
This is a simple yet complex lager. You can simply drink and enjoy, or lose yourself in its subtleties.