Craft + Cru: The Best of Craft BeerJune 27, 2019
You are sitting on your back porch and can hear the roar of the ocean waves. The grill is fired up and ready for action. Friends visiting from off-island are gathered, listening to music, and enjoying the summer afternoon. In honor of celebrating the holiday of America’s independence, the cooler close by at hand is stocked with a selection of beers that each has their own story of independence.
Ah, summer on Nantucket. It is finally here and we are ready. Ready to see friends we have missed, spend time on the beach in the warm sun, reconnect with families, and remind ourselves why we work so hard in order to have the freedom that we do. Time to sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself one of these American home brewed beers recommended by Advanced Sommelier Jenny Benzie for some summer fun!
THAR SHE BLOWS
Finback Brewery has one aim to make great beer following their passion for flavor and complexity from quality ingredients and small batch artisanal brewing. Sounds easy enough, right? More importantly, however, is they want to create something to drink with friends, in the backyard, at the beach and at the bar. They make beer because we they like to drink it delicious and fresh.
While their neighborhood may be located in Queens, NY, the name of the brewery Finback resonates with Nantucket and the sailing days of yore. Like any good chef on island here, the brewers at Finback find inspiration in ingredients, food, and places. FINBACK ROLLING IN THE CLOUDS is an American India Pale Ale (IPA) style. These are typically hoppy and bitter, moderately strong, showcasing American or New World hop varieties. This beer has you thinking juicy tropical fruits, mango, papaya, passion fruit, and mango smoothie. It is slightly hazy, cloudy, foggy, and almost creamy like the clouds when poured into a glass with a light bitterness on the palate. Just like being on Nantucket, it’s an easy decision to start with this beer!
THE GUPPIES HAVE IT
At first, serious brewers considered the trend of hazy beers to be just a fad. They attributed it to poor brewing technique. Like children learning how to do things at summer camp, sometimes you have to use trial and error in order to find your masterpiece. As the trend for hazy beers began to grow, a handful of more respected breweries started brewing them and refining the process of to ensure that the haze and beer were stable.
Alas, RHINEGEIST BETA GUPPY has emerged. This latest Hazy IPA hails from the Over The Rhine district of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. This beer is super juicy with a soft bitterness, bursting with peach, orange and melon and primary hopped for aromatic accentuation. They have mastered the process of hazy beer making to produce a beer that is full of flavor and just ripe for summer picnicking wherever you may roam on island this summer.
A TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS
14th Star Brewing Company is a veteran-owned Vermont craft brewery on a mission to not only brew world-class beer, at the same enrich their local community and that of other veterans. Whether they are using the freshest local ingredients possible from their station in St. Albans, Vermont, or finding new ones in the regional New England area, they impart military precision and creativity into every batch of 14thStar beer that they make.
An American Imperial IPA style beer, 14th STAR BREWING COMPANY TRIBUTE DOUBLE IPA has a more intense hoppy aroma that definitely has citrus attributes. This celebration of hops has a smooth malty backbone with bright flavors and aromas of pine, fresh citrus, and pineapple. It is a perfect libation after a full day of slaying the waves on Cisco Beach or catching tonight’s fresh fish for dinner off the shores of the Grey Lady.
PIECING IT ALL TOGETHER
One of the challenges of summer on Nantucket is crafting the perfect social schedule. This means planning activities with your family coming to visit, dining at new restaurants you want to try, making your way to the beach as much as possible, and not to mention setting aside an adequate amount of time for reading your favorite summer book selections. Like most things in life, it can be a game of Tetris where you are trying to create a pattern of events that fit together into the shape of your life without any gaps in between.
LONE PINE BREWING COMPANY TESSALATION DOUBLE IPA, which hails from Portland, Maine, is a beautiful example of how beer making can do just that. This beer is made from mosaic hops, which are very versatile and create clean flavor characteristics. All about the balance, this beer is bright, yet has a soft and rounded mouth feel. Enjoy aromas of blueberry, mango, and peach, among the complex hops aromas. This may be the beer that you want to share because it is so well put together, or perhaps drink on your own to quietly celebrate how well you organized your summer plans!
Whatever your plans for island life on Nantucket this summer, remember to take a moment to acknowledge all the beauty and splendor this magical place has to offer, as well as acknowledge those who make it possible for you anywhere in your life. Drink responsibly and recycle your beverage containers to help our island remain safe and clean, leaving a legacy for others as those before us have done. Cheers!