Friday, August 28, 2015

IPA Month continues with Devils Purse Brewing's "Pollock Rip" IPA

I've been a delinquent beer blogger this month.

I've done a decent amount of drinking, but not enough blogging.

I'm going to attempt to rectify that these last few, precious days of IPA Month.

I wrote recently about my appreciation and love for the great craft beer scene that is now happening on Cape Cod. Here's a beer I discovered in the course of researching that post.

Pollock RIP IPA
Devil's Purse Brewing
South Dennis, MA
7% ABV, 68 IBU's

So, about that mason jar, um, well....I was on vacation, the house we rented had them, and, well, it felt like the thing to do. I don't generally condone mason jars as vessels for great beer, but when you're on the Cape, on vacation, well, anything goes!

This beer was packaged in a "crowler", which is a bis ass (32 oz) can of beer. I loved the concept. Felt big and heavy in my hand, no need for a bottle opener.

I popped the top, poured it into my mason jar, and observed.

Pollock IPA pours  a hazy gold, with a fizzy, tight, white head.

Smell is really rather reserved, lightly fruity, with a hint of hops.

Mouthfeel is moderate and nicely carbed.

Taste is fruity and mildly bitter (by most most American  IPA standards). It's crisp and clean with a hoppy bitter finish.

I like this beer very much. It's a very distinctive IPA, very tasty, and not palette wrecking.

I recommend this beer, it's a winner.

I've been impressed with the beers from Devils Purse. My dad bought me these beers, I didn't even know this brewery existed. What a great  beer find. They brew a great Kolsch, and an excellent Citra table beer. if you have the chance, do yourself a favor and check out Devils Purse Brewing.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cape Cod, MA Craft Beer Scene- An Appreciation

I'm taking a break from IPA Month today to take a moment to talk about the great craft beer scene happening down on "the Cape" (that's Cape Cod, MA, for you non locals).

Last week I was on the Cape vacationing with my family. The Cape, for those of you not familiar with the area, is that funny looking arm that looks like its flexing off the east coast of Massachusetts. It's physically separated from the mainland thanks to the Cape Cod Canal,  Access to "The Cape" is limited to two lone bridges that cross the canal. Wanna go to the Cape? You gotta cross a big 'ole bridge that was built in 1935. Anyone who has ever experienced a summer vacation on "The Cape" is familiar with the famous Cape traffic backup thanks to bridges built in 1935 that didn't have a clue about 2015 traffic volume. 

Cape Cod is part of Massachusetts, but it really is a different world. Cross the bridges, tune the radio to Pixy 103 (where its always 1985....and that's not a bad thing!), and you are in a world of beaches, fresh seafood, Cape Cod league baseball, mini golf, and more t-shirt shops than you could ever dream of! Cape Cod is a different, special, wonderful place to go, and I highly recommend it as a vacation destination to anyone.

But one thing seemed to be missing, at least for me. Good, locally brewed beer. I've been vacationing on the Cape my entire life. The beaches and fresh seafood can't be beat. But eating fresh haddock from Seafood Sams with a mass produced non-local macro brew just didn't work for me. But until very recently, it seemed that there was no local, Cape Cod beer scene. 

But that's all changed.

This past week I enjoyed excellent, locally brewed beer from 4 local Cape Cod breweries.

 I counted 10 different beers consumed from these 4 breweries alone, and I loved 9 of them. 

From Bad Martha brewing on Marthas Vineyard, I enjoyed the Martha's Vineyard Ale, their flagship beer, an ESB. 

From the other Cape Island, Nantucket, I loved the Whales Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers, an English Style Pale Ale.

 From Cape Cod Brewing, I had two great beers, the IPA, and the Beach Blonde Ale, and American Style blonde ale. Both of these are available on tap at the aforementioned Seafood Sams, so you can enjoy great locally caught seafood and great locally brewed beer.

And finally, from the newest Cape brewery, Devils Purse Brewing Company, I had no less that six new brews, five of which I loved, and the sixth, well, that was a DIPA with brett, and I am not a fan of brett.

Shown here is their tasty Pollock RIP IPA, checking in at 7"ABV and "hopped" up on Chinook, Apollo, Colombus, Ultra and Warrior hops. I loved this beer.

The point I'm trying to make here is that Cape Cod, aka "the Cape" has a GREAT craft beer scene. If you find yourself "on the Cape", be sure to eat and drink local. The beer is fresher, made locally, supports the local economy in far more meaningful way than drinking some non-local brewed tasteless macro beer.   

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Happy IPA Day! Celebrating with Rogue Farms 7 Hop IPA

Happy IPA Day all!

I'll keep this short so we can get back to celebrating Americas favorite beer style- the India Pale Ale!

Today I went "Rogue", so to speak, after not finding a local IPA in the cooler at my favorite bottle store (a rarity, to be sure). So, after examining my options, I reached for Rogue Farms 7 Hop IPA.

And boy am I glad that I did!

Rogue Farms Brewing
Independence, OR
7 Hop IPA
7.77% ABV

One of the things I love about Rogue is that they list all the ingredients in the beer. So I can tell you with confidence that this beer was brewed with "Rogue Farms dare risk, Haier & Dare R-3 Malts, Rogue Farms Liberty, Newport, Revolution, Rebel, Independence, Freedom & Alluvial Hops, Pacman Yeast & free range coastal water."  

That's a LOT of hops!

7 Hop pours a darker amber with a thick, frothy head of foam that stays forever. I think  you could walk on this head, its so thick!

Smell is complex and hard to pick out through that dense head of foam still atop the glass. But I smell hops. A lot of them.

Mouthfeel is light, very soft and velvety smooth. It's absolutely delightful! (yes, I used "delightful").

Taste is delicately hoppy. The flavors are plentiful and distinct but not overpowering. I'd describe it as floral, resiny, and wonderful. And only mildly bitter, which is a nice surprise. Finish is surprisingly clean with a touch of bitter.

"Awesome" is how I'd describe this beer. I expected a hoppy, bitter punch to the face, but what I got was far more delicate and complex brew. It as great, a really different take on the style, at least as far as my experience goes.

Definitely recommended. Have a great IPA Day all! And please join us again as we celebrate IPA Month all month long!

Cheers all!

Bill aka ManDrinksBeer

Monday, August 3, 2015

Overthrow- an Evolving Double IPA from Backlash Brewing

Continuing IPA Month with a great beer that I never expected to find. At least not in my neighborhood.

I love it when I stumble upon a great beer that I didn't think was available yet. Overthrow by Backlash Brewing was that beer for me this past Sunday. After a day of running, lawn mowing, and  putting together a bunk bed (sans directions), I was hot and sore and needed something a little more than ice coffee.

Overthrow Double IPA- Batch Number One (bottled June 2015)
Backlash Brewing
8.5% ABV

The label refers to Overthrow as an "Evolving double India Pale Ale". "Our first batch of Overthrow blends Citra, Galaxy, and Simcoe hops into an angry mob of flavor coming for your taste buds. Dink it now."

Who was I to disagree?

Overthrow pours a hazy orange with a tight white head that recedes to leave a nice Bavarian Ring and nice lacing on the surface and sides of the glass.

The nose is juicy and sweet citrus- orange, pineapple, and mango aromas waft from the glass.

Mouthfeel is soft and fuzzy. This brew is very active on the tongue, lots of bubbles.

Taste is surprisingly mellow for a beer with such a strong, beautiful nose. Smooth and tasty is the best way to describe this, and given the "angry mob" of hops used in its creation, that's an impressive accomplishment. It's almost balanced. Not quite. Great hop flavor, but not as fruity as the aroma. Finish is bitter and wet.

This is a real nice beer. Love the aroma. It reminded me of a more slightly more bitter version of Maine Beer Company's outstanding "Lunch" IPA.

I strongly recommend "Overthrow". Another great offering from Backlash!

Only 3 days until #IPADay. What will you be drinking?


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Happy IPA Month! Celebrating with Greenhead IPA

Happy IPA Month!

Welcome to my occasional annual celebration of Americas (current) favorite style of beer- the awesome India Pale Ale!

This is year 4 of ManDrinksBeer, and year 3 of my self designated "IPA month". (I had a newborn last August, so IPA month was not happening)

Why IPA? And why August?

Because its fucking August and because it's waaaay too fucking early for Pumpkin Ale or Oc/ktoberfest beers (both of which I love, by the way). But, as I previously mentioned.... it's fucking AUGUST!!!! Don't rush me through summer, damn it!

Any questions? Good.

Now that that's settled....

I spent today at  lake swimming with my kids. It was hot, and it was awesome! After we left the lake we went for ice cream! Because it's SUMMER! We came home and made tacos and watched "Home".

And all I wanted tonight was an ice cold IPA (and it's not because the awesome new beer/wine store in Holliston- Crafted - was doing an IPA tasting when I stopped by....that was just a happy coincidence).

It's because it's SUMMER. And in SUMMER, I want bright, floral, aromatic, hoppy beer. Because it's SUMMER.

And with IPA day only 5 days away, we best get to practicing, right?

This year I begin IPA month with one of my new favorites-

Newburyport Brewing
Newburyport, MA
Greenhead IPA
7.2% ABV

Greenhead IPA pours a hazy reddish orange with an inch or two of fluffy white head.

Smell is very floral, strong and fruity. It's awesome.

Mouthfeel is soft, light, wet, with very low carbonation (or so it seemed).

Taste is very bright and crisp citrus- grapefruity and bitter up front, very west coast style as advertisined- but this transitions with more malt than I recall from previous tastings. Finish is hop bitter and sharp.

Newburyport Brewing's "Greenhead" is definitely a west coast style inspired IPA- bright and clean with a huge citrus hop aroma up front. Love it!

I even love the can art. The color pallet really compliments the name, with its liberal use of green,  the guitar pick logo goes perfectly with the guitar picks they give out at tastings, and there's even a Greenhead fly on the can!

I highly recommend this beer. I look forward to trying more brews from Newburyport brewing. Maybe we'll even see one here later this month....