Irish Lad and I are comrades in beer. His counterpart, Wifey, is not a beer drinker, and has started to get irritated when we hang out, because he and I geek out with beer talk, for hours if left uninterrupted. We both enjoy a wide variety of craft brews, as well as an ice cold PBR on a hot summer evening, or, sometimes, a cold winter night. I’m afraid that I’m responsible for that influence, as PBR was my affordable beverage of choice during the Great Unemployment period of 2009. Now that I’m back to contributing to society, rather than taking from it, we like to get together for beer tasting nights every couple of weeks. He and Wifey enjoy trips to the liquor store (or “packie” in Massachusetts, apparently) almost as much as I do, and we’ll usually pick up an interesting 22oz bomber or two on our respective excursions to sample later on. Living on opposite sides of Boston (North versus South) means we occasionally find things not available to each other, so we’ll snag a sample to share.
So we’ll wind up with several bottles of various brews, and get together to have a tasting. Wifey was having a “game night,” as she is wont to do, so there were more people than usual present. And a wider variety of drink choices.
The womenfolk stuck to a jug of sangria the size of a lobster pot, and the lads tucked into the beers. When Irish Lad and Wifey moved into their house, they inherited an extra refrigerator in the basement, and this became the holy beer fridge where all the nice brews live.
(The Smirnoff Ice belong to Wifey.)
Irish Lad also does quite a bit of home brewing, so one of his latest was first on the tasting list.
Citra Pale Ale Homebrew
My favorite beer of the VT Beercation was a Citra hopped IPA from 3 Needs taproom, so I was excited to try Irish Lad’s attempt at a pale ale version.
Nose: Very fruity. Peach/nectarine.
Taste: Sharp, hop bite, nectarine fresh fruit.
The nice thing about having a friend who homebrews is that they always have way too much beer, and give it away. To me. I was gifted with a bomber of the Citra Pale Ale, and had a second tasting the next afternoon with Lady Friend. I was so intrigued by the peach/nectarine taste that I paired it with a fresh nectarine.
Nose: Fruity again, but picking up hints of tart apple as well.
Taste: Slight tart with hop bitter. Fruity and sweet, but in a tree fruit way,
not berry sweet. Juicy and refreshing instead of syrupy.
Verdict: STILL delicious. Nectarine made an excellent companion.
Fenway Pale Ale
Boston Beer Works is a local chain of brewpubs.
Apparently they sell six-packs as well,
and I snagged a Fenway Pale Ale.
Nose: Smells… like beer.
There was really nothing remarkable about the aroma.
Taste: Well balanced. Malt sweet with subtle hop bitter.
Very inoffensive and light… tasty.
Could drink a lot without flavor overload.
Verdict: Tasty, but forgettable.
Nose: Malty, but as a standard IPA. Nothing noteworthy.
Taste: Sigh. STRONG metallic copper aftertastes, as with some Irish red ales, only much more intense. Copper and metal.
Irish Lad: “Tastes like it was dry-hopped with pennies”
Other: “Green (unripe) hops.” “Tastes unfinished.”
Nose: Nutty, roasted, malty.
Smells like a brown ale.
Taste: Very slight metallic sour.
Malty and roasted.
TASTES like a brown ale.
Verdict: Um… is this a black IPA?
Tastes like a slightly hoppy brown ale.
Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA
I’ve had Sierra Torpedo several times (Irish Lad is a big fan)
and it’s never been a bad choice.
Nose: Earthy and farmy. Malt sweet with good floral hop. Cow pie.
Taste: A medium hop bitter taste, no bite.
Verdict: BITTER hop, but not sharp. Excellent.
Somewhere in there, Lady Friend arrived after an adventure in Moo Hampshire, and sampled some of the EXCELLENT chocolate chip cookies that one of the guest baked. Thick, soft, and a slight hint of coconut. Amazing.
Also there was a weird Siamese cat, some boobs, and a giant dog. Seriously, he’s gi-normous.
Oh, and Irish Lad is growing his own hop vines.