The best part of trading is the delayed satisfaction. I went away, I forgot beer was coming, I was worried about buying beer for the weekend at one point and BOOM there's a fridge full of amazing beers from all over the country waiting for me.
Wormtown Be Hoppy IPA
Trillium Dialed In (w/ Chardonnay & Gewurtzraminer Juice) DIPA
Side Project Bretta Sang Sour
I was excited to drink the Be Hoppy from the description -- "hazy unfiltered brew. Pungent aroma of citrus, floral spice, and grapefruit" -- but I didn't get a lot of haze, at least in the first pour. I guess the second half of the beer was bit hazier. And I didn't get much fruit. It was bright enough, but given that it was only a month old, I wasn't super impressed.
The next beer was ridiculous. Are you kidding me. Wine grape juice in a hazy Trillium IPA? So grapey, so good. It wasn't just grapes, either. You get an herbal thing as the taste builds -- grassy, piney, even a bit of pepper to round out the sweet grape IPA. And then the chardonnay, I swear it gave the beer a nice dry finish. This beer was one of those boundary breakers in the best way.
The Bretta Sang was also great, although slightly more conventional. It's a Brettanomyces sour, so you get a lot of funk and horse blanket. It's also a blood orange sour, so you get a thick sweetness that blends with the funk. This sour added a feeling of rind, so it finished with a tart citrus that made you feel like you ate all of an old blood orange -- in a good way. An old blood orange gone bad with alcohol and fuzz... man I'm not making anyone want to try this beer am I. It was great, though.
Tampa Bay Reef Donkey Pale Ale
Night Shift XLV DIPA
Cigar City White Oak Jai Alai IPA
The Reef Donkey was a 5.5% tropical, easy-drinking pale ale. A well made American Pale Ale might be one of my favorite styles -- light, fewer consequencs to our daily lives, and more opportunities for taste than some of the lighter styles. Especially in Tampa Bay, I'd make this a regular in the rotation. Big fan of the name too.
The XLV was huge. Huge, but bright. Funky! Funky and fruity. Tropical, but also piney. Fuzzy, yet easy to drink. I suppose there was a note here or there that wasn't perfect for me, but this, after the Reef Donkey, was a decent argument for the DIPA because there's so much more taste you can pack into the thing. The 8.7% ABV cuts through some of the thickness in a good balance.
You know, the White Oak version of Jai Alai is not my favorite thing in the world, because I'm not really a barleywine guy. You don't get any of that nomal Jai Alai brightness or citrus because it's been aged. Instead, you get a ton of white oak and caramel and thickness, which is pretty cool too. You still get some tropical aroma, but now it comes with wood, and vanilla, and tannins. Fun beer, even if I might rather have the regular edition.
Mikkeller Win Bic Saison
Omaha Hannahatchee Creek IPA
Three Taverns Hoplicity DIPA
Cigar City Florida Man DIPA
Man, that Mikkeller saison was bad. They make good beer, I have to tell myself now when I see the label. The last few have not been good, and this one I had only about five sips of. It was supposed to be green apples and dried apricots, but all I got was a flat beer full of metal. Sour green apple is one of those flavors you have to be really careful with.
The Hannahatchee had a five star smell. Citra and Mosaic together all up in your nose makes you want to just eat the beer. Of course, once you do eat the beer, it's a ton of fruit, and an almost unsettling amount. There's a hint that it's gone too far, even. But in the end, it's a really nice IPA. For how many different kinds of hops are in this beer, it's not very bitter. Omaha, Georgia: you have a great local brewery. Drink the Creek.
The other two I had that day were both two months old. I know that's in the normal bounds of freshness, but I wanted to mention that at least in the case of the Hoplicity. It felt a bit floral, nice, but also malty and maybe not-so-fresh. The Florida Man, maybe it wasn't as much of a problem. It was still tropical and citrus, still smooth and fun.
Narrow Gauge O.J. Run
Got a crowler of this and dammit if I don't love crowlers. Fresh grassy fruity hazy IPA straight to my gullet all the way from Florissant, MO. I don't know if I've ever had an NEDIPA before, so maybe it's tough to pull off grassy and fruity with more alcohol (8.6% in this case) while masking the alcohol. You don't have the benefit of a strong malt backbone and all that bitter hops that used to be all up in our double IPAs, in other words. So, loved this beer, love the haze even though it looks like Orange Juice, but a bit too strong for this collection of tastes maybe?
And what was waiting for you in your fridge this weekend?