The bottle reads “Veridian is a combination of VERDANT (lush growth), VIRIDIA (green) and VERITAS (truth).” In other words, Banded Horn Brewing Company’s Veridian IPA is truth juice. It’s right there in the name.
Banded Horn started in 2013 in Biddeford, ME. Their brewery is a bit unique, located in a 150-year-old mill building on the Saco River. The wooden floors of the mill necessitated pouring a concrete slab to mount the brewing equipment and incorporate drainage, a setup I had not seen before. The huge complex of brick buildings in the area now houses a variety of businesses, including another brewery, Run of the Mill Brewpub, across the river in Saco. Originally from Maine, Banded Horn founder and brewmaster Ian McConnell returned to Vacationland after working as head brewer for Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn, NY.
Veridian is one of several year-round brews from the brewery, including a pilsner and a stout. It clocks in at 6% abv, which seems diminutive next to high-octane offerings commonly available now. I find it an asset that leads to it’s drinkability. 5%-7% is right in the IPA sweet zone; not a session, and not a double/imperial. Enough booze to make you appear more attractive, but still allow coherent speech.
Appearance: Medium amber, copper laced head. Unfiltered/bottle conditioned.
Nose: Sweet and spice. Orange peel, lemon, snappy pine, gingerbread malt. Not quite West Coast citrus bomb, but not East Coast dry pine.
Taste: A malt start, snappy and yeasty, followed immediately by an open lemon citrus, closes back down to apple, pine snap and peppery spice. Finishes slightly spicy with a malt balance.
A solid go-to American IPA. It’s not as dry/bitter as East Coast styles, such as Harpoon IPA or Smuttynose Finest Kind, nor is it a tropical sweet West Coast version, like Ballast Point Scuplin, or Stone IPA. There’s even a nudge to create a “Maine IPA” label with Foundation Brewing’s Epiphany IPA as the trendsetter, but I don’t see that catching on. Veridian doesn’t need the pretension; it’s an honest brew with great flavor profile that isn’t over-the-top. Truth juice.