There was one Mets victory so there was hope once. And my three year old loved Halloween and really got it for the first time, so there were smiles. But when your team loses like that, the whole weekend is colored gray. Well, in this case, like a dank dark green. Because at least it was fresh hop season.
Lagunitas Born Yesterday Fresh Hop Pale Ale
This beer is amazing. Really enjoyable. You get melon and grass (not too much if you don't love grass), and then the green wet hop finish, all with 6.5% alcohol that tastes like a session. It's worth seaking out wherever you can get it, as fresh as you can get it. I don't know what else to say, really. It's easily the leader of the style for me, though I did really like the Hopping Frog Raw Hop, if I remember correctly, and Victory's effort in the style was good. Born Yesterday won the weekend.
Deschutes Hop Trip Fresh Hop Pale Ale
Founders Harvest Ale Wet Hopped Pale Ale
The Hop Trip and the Harvest Ale are what I think of when I think of fresh and wet -- thick and vegetable-like. I'll take the Hop Trip over the Harvest Ale because it adds a little fruitiness and sweetness. The Harvest Ale almost tastes more conventional. It's good, but there's not a lot to hang on to as a recommendation. It's well-balanced and maybe a little thinner and brighter than the Hop Trip, but it doesn't attack the melon or grass as much as the Born Yesterday. Honestly, all three of these are good, but it's the Lagunitas that clearly outpaced the others.
Modern Times Aurora Red Rye IPA
Almanac Dogpatch Grand Cru
The Aurora Red Rye IPA is Equinox, Horizon, Centennial, and an experimental hops. It's sorta like if you took Blazing World -- which is supposed to be part Nugget Nectar and part Nelson, at least in inspiration -- if you took Blazing World more in the amber direction and more like Nectar. That's an appealing discription for most of you, I'd believe. I don't know if it's a leader in its class, but it's definitely above average and enjoyable. I don't love those thick dusty ambers, and this one is amber-like without being all of that.
The Grand Cru? I'd pay $30 for this big boy of sparkling tart cabernet fun. You'll taste the wood, the Napa grapes, and then it finishes with the dogpatch tartness. Since the style really makes them blend the fruit in, this beer goes against any weekness Almanac might have. You'll taste the grapes and the wood for a while before you get to the citrus and acid and sour, it's not all sour. There's a really long taste here, and I'm excited to drink the other one. I think it's worth the price.
Founders All Day Session IPA
I had some of the other beers, and someone stole the last Easy Jack away from me, but this one kept me in the game until game time at least, without getting me in trouble. I'd also take AleSmith X (if it counts) and Jack's Abby Hoponius Union and maybe one other over the All Day, but it came in a 15 pack and totally satisfied my wife, who wanted something not like the 'boozy thick stuff you normally buy.' Also, I had the revelation: why hasn't a big beer done a great one of these yet? Seems like it would be the perfect crossover beer, would sell like water.