Last week was Beer Club, and in a heinous act of negligence, I’m only getting to the recap now. I know, I’m the worst. For the uninitiated, beer club is a monthly gathering of like-minded coworkers at a local BYOB for good food, optional libations, and fun (which part is not optional). This month we hit up a local BBQ joint, loaded up on smoked meats, and cracked open quite a few beers:
(Click for larger version)
For the sake of posterity, some thoughts on each beer we had are below. The usual disclaimers apply, and you’ll want to amplify your skepticism even further due to the fact that I’m writing this about 5 days later than normal. Great, so now that we’ve established that the proceeding descriptions are completely devoid of merit, we can begin. In order of drinking, not necessarily the order in the picture, and in fact, there are several beers not pictured (and we didn’t get to some of the ones that were):
- Neshaminy Creek County Line IPA – I know “East Coast IPA” isn’t a real thing, but I think it kinda describes stuff like this. A local IPA with plenty of hop character that’s balanced out by plenty of crystal malts (much more than you get in typical West Coast IPAs). Its enjoyable, but it won’t blow minds. The very definition of a B, though sometimes I want to bump that up to a B+, which I guess means it’s not the very definition of a B, but give me a break, I’m not under oath here.
- Anchorage Whiteout Wit Bier – Belgian Wit beer aged in Chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces? Sign me up. Nice funk to it, with plenty of typical wheat beer character. Worth checking out. B+
- Upstate I.P.W. – A friend brought a bunch of beers that he grabbed whilst in New York, and this India Pale Wheat ale was quite nice. One of those things I could see myself reaching for, were I a local. Great citrus/pine hop character, light wheat, crisp, and refreshing. B+
- Ken’s Homebrewed Pecan Brown – Wow, that pecan character really comes through on the nose and in the taste. A little lighter in color than your typical brown ale, but that pecan character really sets this apart, and I very much enjoyed it.
- Sly Fox Incubus – A beer I’ve reviewed before (a looong time ago), but I’ll just say that this bottle had a more distinct raisiny note than I remember. On the other hand, it is a bit high on the booze and stickiness factor, something I’m not huge on when it comes to Tripels. Still a solid B in my book.
- The Beer Diviner Very! Brown Ale – Another New York beer, my friend apparently stumbled on it by asking his phone to point out breweries near his location. This one turned out to be a guy brewing out of his house on a farm or something like that. This particular beer was a pretty standard brown ale, nutty and toasty, if a bit stronger than normal. B
- Cascade Apricot – One of my contributions, and a beer we’ve reviewed relatively recently, so I don’t have much to add to that. A-
- Firestone Walker Wookey Jack – A beer I’ve had many times at this point, and as Black IPAs (or whatever you want to call them) go, it’s probably the best regularly available option out there. Big citrus and pine hop component along with the typical roast of a stout, without letting either character overwhelm (or making you wish you had a straight IPA or stout). B+
- Founders Dark Penance – This is a relatively recent addition to Founders lineup, and like everything Founders makes, it’s a solid take on the style. However, having it in close proximity to Wookey Jack made me feel like this was lacking. It was fine, to be sure, and it’d probably be worth trying in a less chaotic environment. B
- Two Roads Conntucky Lightnin’ Bourbon Ale – Well, I didn’t get a ton of Bourbon out of this, and it seemed a bit thin for what it proclaims on the label. Not really bad, or anything, but a bit of a disappointment. B-
- Breckenridge Agave Wheat – Seemed pretty bland, though that sweet agave does come through in the taste. Probably should have opened this much earlier in the night, but here we are. C+
- Pizza Boy Bean Dream – It’s supposed to be a milk stout with vanilla beans, but I don’t get a ton of vanilla. On the other hand, it is a pretty solid milk stout, smooth with a nice chocolatey roast character. I really need to get out to Pizza Boy one of these days… B
- Ken’s Homebrewed Bourbon Porter – This was a pretty solid take on the style, and the bourbon oak character comes through well enough, actually much better than that Conntucky Bourbon stuff from earlier. Go Ken!
- Bonus Beer: Otter Creek Brewing / Lawson’s Double Dose IPA – Whilst at beer club, someone found out that a local drinkery tapped some Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Hill Farmstead, so after beer club, a small cadre of attendees made a slight detour. Now, both of the beers we had were actually collaborations that are more widely available than the typical entries from those breweries (HF sometimes sends kegs down here, but Lawson’s never does), but I’m not complaining, because these were both great beers. This DIPA is fabulous. Huge hop character, citrus and pine and something almost zesty. Not quite Double Sunshine great, but definitely something I want more of. B+
- Bonus Beer: Grassroots Convivial Suaréz – A sorta funky saison made with hibiscus, I really enjoyed this, though I didn’t take any real detailed notes. Nice funky character, and the hibiscus actually does come through. B+
And another successful beer club, fun and smoked meat had by all. Already looking forward to our next meeting…