Every beer has a story. One of the great things about writing about beer is, from time to time, you actually get to hear them. What inspired breweries to start or what ideas they played around with in a certain brew is really fun to know. If there is a better start to a beer and brewery than this beer, I haven’t heard it yet. When we toured Richmond Memorial Day weekend we made a stop by Ardent Craft Ales and heard a slight buzz around one of their IPAs. Well the consensus was extremely positive, so after our sample, we poked our head back in the brewery and complimented the staff on this particular beer. It was explained to us that this was the first beer they made in their driveway and ‘now we have the resources to make it large scale’. ‘Merica at its’ best.
IPA Batch #13, Ardent Craft Ales (Richmond, VA)
American IPA, ABV: 6.8%, IBU: 68
Presentation: Tap pour into tasting glass.
Appearance: Slightly cloudy orangish with white laced head.
Aroma: Citrusy hops bold and up front. IPA lovers will fall in love even as you pull the glass to the nose. Also a decent pine and spice notes as well.
Taste: The strong citrus and pine show up from the beginning and shine throughout. Has a real solid west coast DIPA front and middle. Cleans up towards the end with slight hop bitterness, but nothing that is off-putting.
ABV/IBU Mouthfeel: Medium heavy up front with IBUs really standing out. By the time we got to the end of the taste, hop bitterness compounded and took over control in a good way. Slightly chewy, slightly dry finish, but right on par with solid IPAs.
Overall: It’s an amazing beer with an amazing story. The full flavor citrus/pine flavor of the centennial hops meld with the bittering and more citrus flavors in the simcoe hops. I would be remissed if I didn’t say that simcoe is starting to become my favorite IPA/DIPA hop. Aside from that, there is a lot going for this beer, and we would love to see this take the next step and get on store shelves quickly. It might be a little heavy for the hottest months around, but a September 1 to June 1 window is perfect with this beer. I would keep your eye on this one as it is going on our early list as one of the best beers we’ve tried this year.