I recently decided to stop into Ashley’s Beer & Grill in Westland for some grub and a pint. I’ve long been a fan of Ashley’s in Ann Arbor, as it was one of the first bars I’d visited after moving to the area over a decade ago. Any establishment with more taps behind the bar than seats in front of it is a-okay in my book. I’d never visited the Westland location, and what better time to do so than the present?
While perusing the draft list, the Thrash Punk Coffee Kolsch from Witch’s Hat Brewery caught my eye. Kolsch isn’t usually my style of choice, but as a longtime coffee drinker, a fan of Witch’s Hat Brewery out in South Lyon, and a lover of rad names like “Thrash Punk”, i decided to give it a try.
Thrash Punk is a light-bodied, easy to drink beer that is considerably more mellow than it’s name would suggest. Brewed with direct trade, single source coffee from Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company, it tastes and smells quite a bit like freshly brewed java. You wouldn’t know it from looking it at however, as its straw yellow in color… pretty standard fare for a kolsch. The moment you know you’re in for something with a little more zing is when you finally get a whiff it, as it smells like a faceful of freshly-ground coffee beans.
To no surprise, Thrash Punk also tastes quite a bit like coffee, but not as strongly as I expected. There’s a bit of hoppiness behind all the coffee, but the bitterness is low and it doesn’t have a ton of carbonation, making Thrash Punk a surprisingly mild beer. Though this may just be due to the coffee similarities, this beer reminded me a bit of Bean Flicker from OddSide Ales… another light coffee brew that is easy to drink. And easy to drink it most certainly is… it’s bright and refreshing and only 4.5% ABV. Sadly, I didn’t find it terribly exciting. Perhaps with a name like “Thrash Punk” I was expecting something a bit more intense.
Thrash Punk is a pretty solid brew for lovers of lighter beers, coffee, and lighter beers with coffee in them. While it may not be a beer to bang your head to, I’m sure many drinkers will have no problem raising their metal horns to Witch’s Hat while enjoying a cold pint of this brew.