The remaining four from my Lakefront 8-pack are darker beers, except for the India Pale Ale.
IPA: The strongest beer of the lot at 7% while the rest are between 5% and 6%. This also proves to be the best of the bunch. It's not a West Coast hop bomb, but more of a balanced English-style IPA. Big aroma comes through as soon as you pop the cap. Hazy pale orange, nice trail of foam left down the side of the glass. Taste-wise, it's not the punchiest of the style in terms of hops, but puts forth a nice balance of biscuity malts and citrus and floral hops. Doesn't feel like its ABV.
Eastside Dark Lager: "A rich, dark lager like the ones Milwaukee's founding fathers might have enjoyed on the old Eastside." Wikipedia describes Milwaukee's East side as "a mix of hipsters, hippies, college students and young professionals." Was the old East side different? Regardless, this is a dark lager, but not a rich enough one for me. Any roasty coffee or chocolate elements are muted.
Instead, it's a bit metallic. Better than macro lagers (blah, blah, blah) but that's about it.
Riverwest Stein Beer: Riverwest is another Milwaukee neighborhood, and I appreciate the brewery's effort in tapping into it's local scene. I did not drink this lager out of a stein, but out of a regular lager glass. It's lighter than Eastside Dark, a chestnut colored beer. The taste is primarily caramel, and then maybe woody hops which keep it from being too sweet. Alas, it's somewhat watery. Still better than Eastside Dark, but not a memorable lager.
Fuel Cafe Coffee Flavored Stout: When I cracked this open, I sensed that sour salami smell I had found in the lighter beers. Fortunately, any such taste was covered up. This pours pitch black with a red-beige head that fizzes away quickly. The coffee is there as promised. It's actually fairly hard to down, maybe due less to its richness than to a mild astringency in the finish. If you really like coffee stout, give this one a try.
Overall for me, a pretty unimpressive variety pack from Lakefront. I'd drink the IPA again and maybe the Cherry Lager, but that's about it. Was there an issue of freshness? All bottles were dated from later August, which is only three months. That doesn't preclude the possibility of poor handling, but that still doesn't change the fact that for me these weren't all that great.