When you spend a year away from home, having a few reminders of what you have to look forward to when you return is crucial. I knew I was taking a risk to mule about 20 beers across the country and then sit on them for a few months more, but while I’ve had a few that didn’t survive most have so far. It being Thanksgiving, there was no way I wasn’t going to snag a few off the shelf because whether or not it may appear to be a cliché, I am very thankful for how awesome Virginia beer is. There are some really good breweries out here, especially in Kansas City, but the range is so extreme that it’s heartwarming to know that I can grab some old favorites (and a few new friends, too!) to allow my mind at least to spend the holidays at home.
So thank you, Alewerks, for making my Thanksgiving that much brighter!
Superb IPA, Alewerks Brewing Co. (Williamsburg, VA)
India Pale Ale, ABV 6.2%, IBU 35
Presentation: Bottle pour into tulip.
Appearance: Ringed by ochre, approaching goldenrod in the core. Not cloudy, but clearly unfiltered. Oxymorons aside, moderate head which dissipates fairly rapidly, but some decent lattice that will mark your initial pour. The lattice from there on will descend back into glass.
Taste: The nose is very floral, almost green with some deep fruit notes. Think grilled citrus, perhaps even the passionfruit that Alewerks advertises. They labeled this a Summer IPA, but here on Thanksgiving Day when I broke this out the nose was a great complement to the smoke rub on the turkey. The floral from the nose becomes resin in the body, and only the faintest hint of hops nip at the tongue in the finish. Very little lingering bitterness.
Mouth Feel: Most of the play you get in the mouth is acidic. It’s not an especially carbonated presentation, so rather than a zest that coats your mouth this really hits the front of the tongue and roof of the mouth. You’d have fooled me on the IBU by about 15 units or so.
Overall: Just because a beer is “seasonal” doesn’t mean you can’t adapt it to almost whatever scenario you want. While I wouldn’t pair an IPA with the prime rib we’re also cooking today, a turkey that’s meant to remind you of Summer is in fact ideal for a Summer IPA! While I wish there were a bit more flavor to the Superb IPA, mostly in terms of hops, it’s actually a good entry point to IPAs if you’re not already a hop head.