While our fancy pants Virginia Brew Review year doesn’t flip over until April, we understand that a few of our readers still like to ring in the traditional calendar reset, and did so over the weekend. To you, Happy New Year! Our time was filled with friends, family, and yelling at TV sets while people played sporting contests. But we did happen to work in a few beers, including one that has finally pushed into my area on tap. I find no better way for VBR to start “2017” than with a very aptly named brew.
VIPA (Virgindia Pale Ale), Hardywood Park Craft Brewery (Richmond, VA)
IPA, ABV: 5.2% IBU: 30
Presentation: Tap pour into pint glass.
Appearance: Slightly dark yellow to gold, head whitish and dissipates quickly.
Aroma: Sticky hops and tropical/citrus fruit notes. You could go orange, mango, pineapple with this one and find the mark.
Taste: Dankish green but slightly more balanced with some malt notes up front, hops and fruit from middle to end.
ABV/IBU Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, not too light. Smack dab in the middle for IPA. Some late bitterness from the hops, but malts real in a hoppy finish to slightly hoppy above reset. I will say it was very clean as far as ABV, with most of the flavors pushing down any astringency. IBU very noticeable, but not overwhelming.
Overall: I know this might come as a shocker to no one, but Hardywood has done a great job with this addition to their year round lineup. It balances with the Great Return as a lighter, more widely appealing IPA to their lineup. And with it swiftly moving around the Commonwealth in 12 packs, mixed packs, and draft, it is in it’s prime for drinking. Another stellar job from RVA staple.