Beer Me Up, Benzie!May 25, 2016
CAPTAIN KIRK’S BEER BLOG, STARDATE 201605.26
This weekend, we choose to celebrate the culture and community of craft brewers in America. Many of these organizations began as home brewers who were looking to make something a little better or different than what was being offered from the mass production breweries. Hobbyists turned business owners, craft brewers can now be found in all pockets of the United States.
Here’s a cross-country examination of a few of our American favorites:
- Brewed in Portland, ME, Peak is a craft brewing company dedicated to making delicious beer using local, artisan and organic ingredients.
- Fresh Cut is a dry-hopped pilsner. Dry hopping is a way to increase hoppy aromas by adding the hops after fermentation.
- Chinook, Citra and Centennial hops, typically used to craft an American Style IPA, provide aromas of citrus, grass and spice.
- Though the front palate is loud with IPA qualities, the finish is distinctly pilsner – crisp, dry and extremely refreshing.
- From Longmont, Colorado, Left Hand is both the first American and the first craft brewery to master the science of bottling a Nitrogen beer without a widget.
- Originally named Indians Peaks in honor of the nearby mountains, it was discovered that this was already used to describe a beer style by another local brewery, so they quickly changed the name to Left Hand. This was derived from the southern Arapahoe word “Niwot” meaning left hand, in honor of Chief Niwot, whose tribe wintered in the local area.
- Pouring hard out of the bottle, Milk Stout Nitro cascades beautifully, building a tight, thick head like hard whipped cream. The aroma is of brown sugar and vanilla cream, with hints of roasted coffee.
- Dark & delicious on the palate, super smooth with soft roastiness and mocha flavors on the finish.
- Close in proximity to us in Salem, MA, and launched in 2010, Notch was the first brewing company in the US to focus exclusively on session beer.
- Session Beer is bought in rounds with friends and served in big glasses. Where one leads to three and the good times are extended without care, it fuels the conversation, is communal and in it for the long haul.
- Notch Session Pils salutes the unfiltered pale lagers of the Czech Republic: crisp, herbal, and hoppy.
- This results in a beer similar to the same function as Brit Session Beer – lower ABV, great flavor, and built for multiple pints.
- Located just minutes off I-95 in Stratford, CT, Two Roads Brewery is situated in an old rehabbed US Baird Building that was formerly a Sikorsky Manufacturing Company where they once made helicopters.
- The name of the brewery reflects their philosophy in taking the Road Less Traveled.
- Honeyspot IPA is the Two Roads version of this traditional beer style that takes a road less traveled. It’s unfiltered and uses wheat as the dominant malt backbone.
- The result is a slightly cloudy, pale IPA with a softer mouthfeel that accentuates the citrusy Pacific Northwest hop character.
- Started in San Diego, CA, as a small group of home brewers who wanted to make a better beer, Ballast Point has today reinterpreted brewing into making beer as more of an art than a science.
- Their logo, the sextant, is a reminder for them to keep on their journey, seeking out new ideas, new flavors and new people in which to share these things. The beers are named after fish as the brewers love nothing more than fishing (and making beer).
- Sculpin IPA is the result after years of experimenting of hopping the ale at five separate stages.
- This inspired use of hops creates hints of apricot, peach, mango and lemon flavors, but still packs a bit of a sting, just like a Sculpin fish.