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Beer Review: Longsnapper – Tighthead Brewing Company

Retired Chicago Bears’ long snapper Patrick Mannelly helped Tighthead Brewing Company develop this unique beer.

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Question. Who is the longest-tenured player in Chicago Bears history? WRONG! It’s Patrick Mannelly. He played an astounding 245 games across 16 seasons as the Bears long snapper and apparently now he’s helping brew some beers! This particular beer is brewed at Tighthead Brewing Company up in Northwest Suburb, Mundelein. I have had several beers from Tighthead, but I will save those reviews for another day as they deserve their own spotlight.

Here is the beer itself. It pours a wonderful deep copper color depending on the light you’re looking through. It’s brighter at certain angles but also gives a darker, almost brown hue in the depths of the beer. I think I can see my soul in this beer. It gives a hefty two inches of off-white head that hangs around for a bit. I am getting just a slightly pine aroma with some malty caramel.

On the can it states that they “designed this beer based on Pat’s favorite beer styles.” I am getting a wide range of styles in this beer. They labeled it a “west coast style IPA,” but I am not getting that at all. To me, this is a melting pot of styles. Almost like a rye-tasting IPL (India pale lager). It is slightly hoppy like an IPA and its listing at 40 IBU’s sort of confirms that. There’s a roasted nut flavor that’s faint but it’s definitely there. Then it’s also smooth finish like a lager. There’s a medium mouthfeel in this beer and the bitter rye and roasted caramel flavor lingers there in the aftertaste. It’s not very sweet — just a sort of raw flavor — but I just can’t get enough of it. I am really enjoying sipping on this beer and contemplating the different flavors in there.

I really like this beer. A lot is going on here while being an easy drinker. At 6% ABV, I was kind of expecting a more watered down, lighter tasting IPA, but I am pleasantly surprised. I could do a lot with this beer. It would absolutely be a great addition to my cooking. I could sit down and drink this on a cool night next to a bonfire. I could also slam this on a nice summer day whenever Mother Nature decides to grace us with her presence. I don’t know what styles of beer are #65’s favorites, but I would be very interested to know. I am also curious about the significance of the car he’s launching the pigskin off of from the can design.

Now, for my new favorite part of my reviews, what does my wife think of the beer? First, allow me to reiterate. My wife is not a beer drinker. Never has been, never will be. Not even in college would she drink the light beers, so that’s what makes this so great. This time I wanted her to pour the beer into the stein. She cracked the beer open first and said how she could smell the beer right away. “It doesn’t smell strong like some of those other beers are like eww.” Then she made a nice pour with the appropriate amount of foam. She refused to drink the beer until the foam faded. It took a solid two minutes until it was at the appropriate level for her. Then she took a drink. “Oh god, I don’t like this one at all. It’s like stuck in the back of my throat. It’s stuck there on my breath.” Obviously, this was hilarious to me as I was kind of expecting it. To me, that’s a good thing as the flavor hung around. She did not like the more straight-forward bitterness in a beer with no sweetness. That’s what you are getting with this beer and I enjoyed very much, just not the wife with no beer experience.

In conclusion, I think this is a solid beer. I would say best during the colder months, but still good year-round. It is dry and bitter with a roasted finish. Overall, I give this an 8/10 based on the complexity and versatility of it. Nice job by Tighthead and Patrick Mannelly on making a beer that is a little different from anything I’ve had and, DA BEARS!

Happy Drinking!


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