Kind of going off our usual script for the beer review tonight. I tend to look for the newer or different kinds of beers out there to really get down and rate, but since it is a special occasion, I’m going to go review one that’s been out for a little while. Most of y’all who know me know that I’m a fan of a little band called Phish. And it just so happened that they have bowled through the Mid-Atlantic this week, stopping in Portsmouth for a two night stretch. One solid that all three of the venues in the area have in common have been a decent beer selection (at typical concert markup, of course). But if it wasn’t for Phish, I wouldn’t have tried this particular beer, as I am not a ‘reach for an IPA first’ individual. So now it’s my go-to beer for the big show.
Northern Lights IPA, Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA)
India Pale Ale, ABV: 6.5%, IBU: 52
Presentation: Bottle into Pint Glass
Appearance: Light amber/orange with thick white head that can mound if poured too fast.
Smell: Citrus with distinct hoppy notes, but not too overpowering like other IPAs.
Taste: I usually kinda back into a standard ‘well it’s not strong enough to be an IPA, so it’s more of an APA’ mode with lighter hopped India Pale Ales, but not this one. It is not the strongest IPA, but it definitely falls into this category. Plenty of barely and just enough hops with a lemon zestish finish.
ABV/IBU Feel: You get a little of that dry, chewiness on the back end, but again, not as much as you would with a full-on IPA. ABV is right on and light enough to bring out the bitterness.
Overall: This is a concert/festival type of beer. It has plenty of flavor and taste to stand up after a long hot day, but light enough that it can be enjoyed from the opening song to the encore. I would think that the hardcore of IPA purists would knock this beer, but I like this style of beer. Keep this one handy for those long jam sets.