Coming together over craft beer.
I met a guy tonight. A guy who creeped my out when he first said hi, with an approach more akin to a city street pan handler than a craft beer lover. Turns out this guy, who I now love, is the beer manager at Wine Works in Marlton, and his name is Dan. And Dan rocks.
He didn’t say hi or can I help you, but rather approached quietly and had an eccentric motion about him. When he got close, almost too close, he started speaking quickly, “Are you looking for anything, what can I get you, what do you need?” I of course, still not knowing who he was, dropped into the casual ‘oh just looking around’ sort of comments. But he pressed, and I am glad he did. Before I knew it I was escorted to the back of the store, the loading area where all the new stuff that wasn’t on the shelf yet was stored. I mean, not everything was crazy off the wall new, but it was very interesting to hear him riff on his favorite beer styles, try to explain to me what certain new off style selections tasted like, and tell me about the 159 cases of Southern Tier Pumking he had on order. I don’t always go to Wine Works, but I imagine the frequency at which I make my beer purchases there just increased.
So tonight’s beer selection is a seasonal from Yards. They refer to it as an Epic Ale, but it is essentially a double IPA, called Cape of Good Hope. It was not on the shelf yet, and though thousands have tried it and thousands more will, some how Dan made me feel like this one I am drinking tonight is somehow a little bit more special than the rest.
Appearance: Light rosey gold color, slight chill haze when I poured it, clearing as it warms. White half finger head persists for a while. No lacing.
Aroma: Hoppy, grassy herbal at first but with more sniffs and a little warmth the tropical fruit nose emerges. A nice sweetness, but faint, you gotta go looking for it.
Taste: Wow, so much better than I expected, but I don’t know why because Yards never disappoints. Very well balanced for a DIPA, hop forward but not a lingering after taste, actually quite dry and refreshing. For an 8+% you don’t really taste the alcohol. The hops are all over the flavor, but not too much. Not a traditional West Coast IPA at all.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is light and it is soft up front, bitter in the middle, and finishes dry.
Overall: I like many IPA’s, but I am not a hop head. This beer is very good. Not an all day drinker like Yards Pale Ale or Brawler, but I imagine this would pair great with some grilled meat, a sausage sandwich, or with a sunset at the end of a long voyage at sea.
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