Location: Sick Bri Guy’s Secret Spot
Beer: Redhook Long Hammer IPA
April in Vermont; Fishing season has finally begun after months of anticipation and opening day brings the warmest weather of the season. Of course in the Green Mountains, where ski season is winding down, this means lots of melt water. We are faced with off color, high rivers where the most reasonable expectation is to have a “nice day on the river.”
Admittedly excited, regardless of what I knew was awaiting me, I rose early to be the first one to my spot. This proved unnecessary, since I didn’t see another fisherman the entire time. Also, unsurprisingly, I didn’t see any fish either. But really, what can be better than having a stretch of river all to yourself for a couple hours (other than catching fish while out there). And there is always the after fishing beer to console you.
For today, I choose Red Hook’s Long Hammer IPA. This bi-coastal brewery produces a variety of good pours, but being a hophead I of course, gravitate to the IPA.
On the initial pour you catch a whiff of the citrus and hop laden essence of this beer. The strong aroma comes from dry hopping the beer near the end of brewing process when they add an extra dose of Cascade Hops. While this smell could be intimidating to those not accustomed to IPAs, the flavor of this beer is surprisingly smooth. In fact, Long Hammer is rated at 44 IBU’s making it only slightly bitterer than a Pale Ale.
The flavor is fairly well balanced, showcasing the hops with some malt undertones. This beer has a good mouth feel, finishing slightly dry with an extra kick of lingering bitterness to make you want more.
Straw colored with a slight haze. About 1 inch white head when poured.
Citrus hops with some piney undertones
Good mouth feel, maybe a little light in body. Good taste, hop weighted balance with some malt undertones that lacks a lot of complexity. Dry finish, with a lingering bitter hops flavor.
This is defiantly an IPA for the masses, maybe a little too drinkable, allowing the increased alcohol content to sneak up a little faster than expected. All in all a good beer that pairs well with most spicy food, the dry finish having a pallet cleansing effect. Also works great with summer time grilling and after “nice days on the river.”
Style: India Pale Ale
Malts: Pale, Caramel, Munich
Hops: Alchemy, Cascade, Willamette
Bitterness Units: 44.0 IBU
Original Gravity: 14.40 degrees plato
Brewery Location: Portsmouth, NH and Woodinville, WA