Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blue Mountain Expansion

Blue Mountain Brewery in Nelson County has announced major expansion plans. The brewery plans to open two, yes two, new production breweries. The folks at Nelson County Life bring us the news:
Blue Mountain Brewery has selected the Colleen Business Park in Nelson County as the home for its two new production brewery projects. During the year-long site selection process, the Colleen location emerged as the best fit for the projects, allowing Blue Mountain to expand its brewery operations in Nelson County. Blue Mountain originally located in Nelson after water studies and drilling test wells. Brewer Taylor Smack notes, “The water in this region is an integral part of the success of our brewery process. I had talked with Central Virginia Electric Cooperative [the Colleen Business Park land owner] about locating a brewery here as far back as 2004. The site never left my mind as very ideal, and we’re thrilled to finally be making a production brewery in Colleen a reality.”
One of the projects, known as Blue Mountain Barrel House and Organic Brewery will focus on 10 Blue Mountain beers that will be kegged or bottled in 750ml corked bottles. These specialty beers will be USDA certified organic. Production will start in January 2012 and eventually reach capacity at 5,000 barrels a year. The second brewery will be a 40-60,000 square feet production facility. Capacity is expected to reach 50,000 barrels annually.

This is exciting news from a great Virginia brewery. This expansion will allow Blue Mountain to reach markets outside of Virginia, introducing even more fans to Virginia craft beer excellence.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Blue & Gray Does IPA

One beer style that I've long thought was missing from the lineup at Blue & Gray Brewery was India Pale Ale. Recently I heard from brewer Madison that he was working on an IPA and I've been waiting to see, and taste, what he would come up with. This week my wait was over. The brewery announced that the test batch of their first IPA was on tap at Lee's Retreat, and I was recently able stop by the brewpub for a pint.

The as yet unnamed beer pours dark amber with a moderate beige, and persistent, head. The aroma is citrus with a hint of fruit. The initial taste is citrusy hops with a touch of bitterness. Some caramel notes come through at the end. There's a pleasing bitterness in the finish. This is a well-balanced beer with enough bite to satisfy this hop fan. Centennial, Cascade, and Chinook hops are used in making this beer. I enjoyed it very much. My only regret was that I only had time for one glass during this visit.

You too can try out this new beer from Blue & Gray at the brewpub while the test batch lasts. I don't know how long that will be, so you probably don't want to delay. As for me, I intend to get back very soon to enjoy more.

Blue & Gray will be holding a "Name That Beer" contest to come up with a name for their new beer. It will be interesting to see what names the brewery's fans come up with. I predict this will be a very popular addition to the Blue & Gray lineup.

Update, today: Just heard from a friend on Facebook that the IPA is gone. I understand the next batch won't be brewed until May 31. Sad face.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hop Stringin’ at Blue Mountain

Last July, Blue Mountain Brewery invited fans in for a day of hop picking. Now, the Nelson County brewery is tempting folks in for another work day.

From Nelson County Life Magazine:
Bring a pair of good yard scissors and help Blue Mountain Brewery string, trim and train their Cascade and Centennial hops! On Tuesday, April 26th · 3:00pm – 6:00pm Give them an hour of good work and they’ll hook you up with a “hop-hand” sandwich–carnivore or vegetarian style–and a side. They’ll be wrapping up the stringin’ by 6PM, so last check in time is precisely 5PM for this event. Co-owner and brewmaster Taylor Smack laughingly has a suggestion. “Basically, what we’re saying is fake a stomach ache at work sometime between 2:30 and 4:30 and get on out here for some good, beery, country fun!” Brewers Chad, Mitch, Matt and Taylor and Stan “the hop man” Driver will be out in the field working and chatting it up with all comers. Hope to see you!

(Seriously, don’t forget your scissors or a good box-knife or the like.)
Sounds a bit like a Tom Sawyer tale, but it will be good time for sure. But you better hurry, it's today!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Sunday & Shooting Practice

After Mass on Easter morning I decided to take a quick trip to the range for some pistol shooting practice. (There are just so many snarky remarks I could make here about "clingers.") I've been wanting to get in some focused practice, basically for trigger control and watching the sights, and shooting steel plates at a distance seemed a fun way to do that. Being a breatiful Spring day, and Easter Sunday, I figured the outdoor range would be well-attended, but surprisingly I had the place to myself.

I set up my 10" steel plates and moved to the 15 yard line. My plan was this; if I hit the first shot from the draw, I'd reward myself wih a swing to the second plate and then shoot it. If that was a hit, swing back to the first plate. Or alternately, shoot a follow up shot on the first plate if the first shot was a hit. If I missed on the draw shot, I'd reholster and start again. So here goes: Draw. Shoot. Hit. Transition. Shoot. Hit. Too easy.

I needed to make it a little harder. So, I moved back to the 25 yard line. I still managed a high percentage of hits.  At the Black Creek Steel Match just a few weeks ago I was having trouble hitting even 24" plates at 25 yards. Must be the pressure of competition. There are days I shoot well, and days I do, um, otherwise. This day it was the former.

I enjoy practicing with the steel. I instantly know that I called the shot correctly, and there's no walking back and forth to paste the target. Sure, the "A zone" isn't the same size or shape at the standard USPSA target, but shooting steel is an easy, not to mention fun, way to practice basic skills. Maybe I need to get one of these steel A zone targets from this page.



Now, by posting this I've probably jinxed myself for the next time I have to shoot for a score. But, it was certainly a fun afternoon. Later that day as I was grilling a leg of lamb for Easter dinner, I still had a smile on my face thinking about the afternoon's fun.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"He is not here"

With those words, we learn that the promises of Our Lord have been fulfilled. The empty tomb reminds us that death and sin have been conquered. Whenever I think about the Resurrection, I often wonder what those who persecuted or doubted Him must have thought on Easter morning.

Today, all of Christendom celebrates the return of Jesus from the dead. As we go through life we face many trials and tribulations. But we must always remember that "the worse thing that could happen" has already happened. The biggest battle man can face, has already been fought, and won, for us. Jesus conquered death so that we could have eternal life. We rejoice in that knowledge at Easter.

I hope you had a productive and spiritually fulfilling Lent, and I wish everyone a joyous and blessed Easter season. He is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!

And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid. --Matthew 29:5-6





Mass inside the tomb of Jesus.
Photo by C. Turley

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fasting With the Belgians

Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence. For Catholics, this is a simple way of denying ourselves in order to focus on something bigger than the immediate earthly desire. It helps us to slow down and acknowledge our weaknesses. But that doesn't mean we're gloomy. In fact, it should be just the opposite as we are reminded of the eternal salvation won for us today.

After The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord at our church Friday afternoon, and a simple dinner, Colleen and I decided to relax with a nice beer and think about the events of these Holy Days. Alas, I hadn't planned ahead. I've been working through the odds and ends of beers left in the basement, and the stash is random and assorted. I spied a bottle from 2009 of Orval, and a lone bottle of Duvel. That'll do! It wasn't until I grabbed a couple of Chimay glasses that I realized just what an eclectic assemblage this was. And tasty too!

Friday, April 22, 2011

“It is accomplished”

Were greater words ever spoken? With these words, God, humbled as man, breathed his last. All this was done for our sake, and ours alone. What love He showed in His sacrifice. A sacrifice that no man could make. It is for this reason we call today Good Friday. By this action He redeemed mankind. Think about it; God sacrificed Himself, in reparation for sins man perpetrated against God Himself. Thinking about it takes my breath away. On this day, the greatest act of forgiveness, of love, in all of history, took place.

This year, Holy Week seems extra close and personal for my family. Just a few months ago we were in the Holy Land. We walked were Our Lord walked, where he lived, where he died. Listening to the readings at Mass this Holy Week I am struck by the memories of being in the very places these events took place, of walking the same streets, of touching the ground upon which He died, praying in the tomb in which He was placed.

Today we lit the lamp in our home that hangs in front of a crucifix that contains relics from the Holy Land. I walk by that crucifix many times each day. But today, it seems somehow different.


And saying this, he gave up the ghost. Now the centurion, seeing what was done, glorified God, saying: Indeed this was a just man.  And all the multitude of them that were come together to that sight, and saw the things that were done, returned striking their breasts. --Luke 23:46-48

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Weekly (Free) Beer Tastings

A quick public service note: The folks at Virginia Wine Experience let us know that they were starting up free beer tastings every Thursday. I've noted this downtown Fredericksburg store in the past. Edwin tries to bring in some beers that aren't readily available in the area. Now that the store will be holding regular tastings every Thursday, there's yet another reason to stop by.

Oh, Those Fruit Beers

There's a fruit basket forming in my beer fridge. Recently I was moving bottles around, sorting out all those leftover single beers that seem to accumulate. I noticed a pattern on one shelf.

I found a couple of bottles of Saranac Pumpkin Ale. They're probably two years old since I didn't buy any pumpkin beers last Winter. It's not that I don't like pumpkin beers, there are some I like, but only to a point. I tend to get tired of them quickly. I guess I grew tired before those two bottles at met their purpose.

I'm not even sure where the Bluepoint Blueberry Ale came from. Perhaps in some long-forgotten trade. I might have been tempted to try that at one time, but it's been down there for a while now.

Sadly, from my favorite local brewery, there's a 2009 bottle of Blue & Gray Chocolate Raspberry Stout. This very popular seasonal is one of the few (only) Blue & Gray beers I don't enjoy, though plenty of folks do.

There, in the back, a single bottle of Sam Adams Longshot Cranberry Wit. A lone leftover from the 2009 Longshot pack. I don't recall drinking the other three bottles that came in the pack. They didn't leave an impression obviously.

And speaking of Sam Adams, there's that Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic that someone snuck into my cooler several years ago. It's still sitting there, relegated to the back shelf. Poor thing.

I enjoy a pretty wide range of beer styles and flavors. And I'm game to try anything, at least once. However, from an quick analysis of the "old" beers in the fridge, fruit-flavored beers aren't high on my list.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April Shooting Thoughts

As alluded to several times recently, I've been anxiously awaiting the start of USPSA matches this Spring. One of the main reasons is this will be my first full year of matches. I "discovered" USPSA last July after shooting a few IDPA and steel matches. My main accomplishment last year was figuring out the rules, and getting my nerves under control. While the latter will never be conquered totally (nor should it) this year I intend to focus on improving specific skills, and at the same time learning how to better plan my strategy. I'm still new at this game; sharing some highlights here will help me to track my progress.

The month started off with the season opening match at Fredericksburg Practical Shooters. I helped set up the match the morning before, which was actually a very enlightening experience. Sure, I got to see the workings of the mind of the match director as he strove to place targets and barricades just right to force the shooter to move and to really think about how the stage should be shot. It gave me some things to think about as I figured out my own strategy of attack.

Next up, the monthly match at Black Creek Steel Shooters in Richmond. There's just something extra fun about shooting at static and falling steel. The immediate feedback is also a great training tool. It forces you to really focus on aiming and trigger control. On paper you might score fewer points for being off just slightly; on steel you may simply miss the target all together. One of my meager attempts is shown in comparison with better shooters here in a video made by another competitor. In a rare treat, Colleen was able to come along to this match and video my shooting. Watching those videos pointed out a number of things I can work to improve, which is great. But even better was having her along for the day!

My final match in April was the highlight of the month for me. The match at North Mountain Practical Shooters was one where things just seemed to flow well. I shot a lot of A's, with just two misses the entire match. I think I scored my second highest percentage ever on a classifier stage. I also had my best finish to date in a match, even finishing one stage 5th out of 15 shooters in my division. There were things I could have done better, sure, and I will next time. Overall, a very, very fun match.

Next month I'm participating in the VA/MD 2011 Section Championship, held right here in Fredericksburg. I'll get in a few more practice matches before then. I'm looking forward to testing myself on the same course of fire with a large cadre of expert and more experienced shooters.

And, if you see me at any local matches, be sure so say "hi." Look for the shooter in the craft beer t-shirt.

Monday, April 18, 2011

World Beer Festival - Richmond

The 2nd annual World Beer Festival in Richmond will take place on June 18. See the following press release for more information.

World Beer Festival, and “The Art of Beer”, Returns to Richmond
One of the premier beer events in the country offering a unique opportunity to learn about and enjoy beer

April 18, 2011 (Richmond, Va.) – Richmond will welcome its 2nd World Beer Festival Saturday, June 18, 2011 on Brown's Island. Produced by All About Beer Magazine, the World Beer Festival is a celebration of the world beer culture, offering attendees a sampling of hundreds of beers from more than 100 domestic and international breweries. Festival goers also enjoy educational sessions by industry experts, food from a variety of local restaurants, plus live entertainment by local musicians. For the second year, the festival will be presented by local Richmond charity; FETCH a Cure.

“Richmond embraced the World Beer Festival in 2010 and we're excited to return, where consumers, wholesalers, retailers, and suppliers all come together.” said Daniel Bradford, Publisher of All About Beer Magazine. “Plus this year, we will be showcasing our expanded concept of beer as an art, with more displays and in-depth presentations, that explain further why beer is such an exciting, interesting beverage and socializer.”

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Big Burger Pub

I've been passing the sign for Big Burger Pub for few weeks. This new restaurant is located near the old Ukrop's grocery store west of Fredericksburg. Burger. Pub. Ice Cream. If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you can understand why that was like the Song of the Sirens luring me in.

When the family stopped in for a recent lunch, naturally I immediately scanned the long bar for the taps. There, at the end, I saw them: Bud, Bud Light, Shock Top and Stella Artois. Okay, I wouldn't be having a beer with lunch. So I turned my attention to the menu. The burgers at Big Burger Pub are offered in quarter, half, one, and (coming soon) two pound versions. A variety of toppings are offered; American, Provolone or Swiss cheese, lettuce, pickles, tomato, grilled onions, peppers and mushrooms. We all opted for the small sized burger, along with a plate of shoe string fries.

The burgers which are cooked when ordered, arrived quickly on styrofoam plates. The lettuce and tomatoes were ripe and fresh. We didn't specify any cooking preference for the burgers, they were cooked through, but very moist and juicy. I went through seven or eight napkins eating mine. We opted to skip dessert during this visit, but the Big Burger Pub offers shakes, smoothies, banana splits, as well as a selection of novelty ice cream treats.

The atmosphere at Big Burger Pub is casual, the service is efficient, and the venue family friendly. One of the several TV's was showing the Nickelodeon channel, the others sports. The burgers are fresh and tasty. Of course, I'd like to see them serving some local beers, such as Blue & Gray or Starr Hill, or craft beer in general. If you're looking for a quick, and economical, lunch, you should check them out. We'll be back I'm sure; the half-pound burger is calling me in.

Yes Virginia, We Still Have Avery

Just a couple of weeks ago I reported that parts of Virginia were losing Great Divide beers. Then I saw the headline, "Avery plans to pull out of 8 states and 7 partial markets" over at the Two Beer Guys blog. I was almost afraid to read the article. However, in this case, Virginia is safe.

Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee are getting cut. Also parts of Northern California (Bay Area and Sacramento), Eastern Arkansas, Upstate New York (outside of New York City), Central Florida (Orlando area) and Wisconsin are affected.

Next to Great Divide, Avery Brewing is probably my next favorite Colorado brewery, the IPA and Maharaja are frequent residents in our beer fridge. At least for now, those supplies are still coming. As with Great Divide, these changes are a mixed blessing. The beers are popular and the demand for them is great. However, the breweries cannot meet that demand. Rather than spread themselves too thin, or risk quality control issues, the breweries make the tough, but correct, decision.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Personal Brewery

For the beer fan who has everything? Maybe not, but you have to admit the technology is cool.




The WilliamsWarn Personal Brewery from WilliamsWarn on Vimeo.

H/T Shaun.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Decisions at the Battlefield (Brewing Company)

Colleen and I recently stopped by The Pub for dinner, and some beers from Battlefield Brewing. It's been a while since we visited and were anxious to see, and taste, some of their newer beers. Five house beers were available, three of which we've tasted previously, along with two new selections. While I rarely go for a sampler flight when visiting a brew pub, we decided we'd go that route before selecting a beer to go with dinner. For just under $6, we got sampler of all five beers. We tasted them while enjoying a fried sampler appetizer platter.


Left to right above, the beers are Chancellor Pale Ale, Iwo Jima Red Ale, Coral Seas Kolsch, BelleauWood Belgian Ale, and Austerlitz Czech Style Black Lager. We started with the Pale Ale. Colleen and I both enjoyed the moderate citrus hop flavor. Nicely done. Next up, the Red Ale. This is a very nice, dark Irish Red Ale. At this point we both were commenting that the beers seemed a different; more fresh with a "crisper" flavor. The Pale Ale has been my beer of choice during previous visits, so I'm fairly familiar with it, but for whatever reason, it seemed improved. The beers were not bad before, but we both picked up on something different. Maybe the brewers have gotten more familiar with the brew house, the recipe has been tweaked, or it was just our mood.

Next we moved on to the Kolsch. This was a mild, fruity beer. Pleasant, and we thought it might be nice for a hot summer afternoon. The Belgian Ale was next. Fruity, and as expected for the style. The final beer was the one that I was most curious about. Austerlitz Czech Style Black Lager is described as "Cold conditioned for 4 months, made with polish Lublin hops." The beer was dark with a mild roasted aroma. The taste was a distinctive roasted malt flavor with a hint of sweetness. Of the five beers, this may have been my favorite, and I think I'd like a pint of this sipped in front of the fire pit. (Hmm, Battlefield does fill growlers to go.) But, tonight we were enjoying The Pub's tasty burgers. For me, that put the decision between Chancellor Pale Ale and Iwo Jima Red Ale. In the end, we both selected the Red Ale, and had an enjoyable meal.

Fresh beer and good burgers. That's a theme oft repeated on these Musings. The Pub is a nearby place to fulfill those needs. If you haven't been recently, check it out again. I'm glad we did.

Friday, April 8, 2011

There Be Dragons

Hopefully, coming to a theatre near you.


There's an inspiring movie opening on the weekend of May 6-8. The story follows the life of St. Josemaría Escrivá and his contemporaries during the Spanish Civil War. It’s a powerful film about war, tragedy, love and redemption, directed by Roland Joffe (The Mission, The Killing Fields). Set during the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War (early 1900s), There Be Dragons tells the story of two childhood friends who find themselves on opposite sides as war erupts.

One chooses the path of peace and becomes a priest while the other chooses the life of a soldier driven by jealousy and revenge. Each will struggle to find the power of forgiveness over the forces that tore their lives and friendship apart. 

Here in Fredericksburg, and in many cities around the U.S., folks are working to make sure the public gets to see this movie. Locally, a full buy-out for one showing has been arranged, but we want the whole opening weekend to be successful. Help spread the word so more people can share in the important message this film provides. Contact your local theatre. Encourage the manager to play There Be Dragons. Let them know you’ll bring people to see the movie if they book the film.

For more information visit http://www.dragonsresources.com/. Feel free to email me as well.

Also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/there.be.dragons.fredericksburg or http://www.facebook.com/therebedragonsmovie.

"This is an absorbing movie that takes you into the heart of the Spanish Civil War, but more than that. It takes you into the heart of the human soul." --Jake Davis

Don't Be That Guy


But if you are, you can get the card here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Arlington's Mad Rose Tavern

Last month we received a Tasting Table email introducing a new pub, Mad Rose Tavern, in Arlington. Catching my eye was in the email was this:
Enterprising dinner-party hosts should emulate the Tavern's potato chip platter ($6). The chips are snappy, but also delicately puffed and nearly crumbly. Even better, they're concave vessels for the velveteen sour-cream-and-onion dip.
Checking out the pub's Facebook page, I learned that they had 20 draft beers available, and the selection looked to be craft-heavy. We've never been ones to shy away from pub snacks and good beer, we decided to seek them out during a recent trip to Northern Virginia. Not being familiar with the area, and relying on entirely on GPS, we actually drove right by the corner establishment on the first trip around the block. But after negotiating Arlington streets and parking we arrived at our destination.

Colleen and I each enjoyed a Bell's Two Hearted Ale. Another dining companion ordered Original Sin Hard Cider. Unfortunately that selection was sold out so he selected a Magners Irish Cider. When I ordered my Bell's, the server broke out in a smile. I wondered what was up and he told me he liked it when folks ordered his favorite. (I thought to myself, "Okay, he knows beer.")

Naturally, we started off with the aforementioned potato chip platter. The house-made chips were tasty and we all especially enjoyed the sour cream dip. I would have preferred the chips to have been more salted, but that's something I took care of on my own. We were also served a plate of a sesame coated flatbread with herbed butter, both also house-made. Neither platter was left unfinished.

Three members of our party ordered the burger platter. The burger was a thick patty of mildly spiced ground sirloin, with onion, tomato, lettuce and cheddar cheese. The platter was served with a heaping mound of shoestring fries. The burger arrived with no condiments, but a request to our efficient server brought mustard and mayonnaise to those who wished them. The meat was tasty and cooked to the desired doneness, and the fries were cooked to a light crisp. If anything seemed out of sorts, it was the thick, white-bread, sesame seed bun. With the emphasis on fresh and house-made, the generic, and not quite fresh bun, was somewhat disappointing. Hopefully this was a symptom of a new restaurant, and/or a Sunday afternoon stock issue. It by no means ruined the meal, but it did take away a bit from from the overall quality.

Our son ordered the chicken tenders with red pepper gravy and mac & cheese. In watching orders being brought to other tables, this entré appeared to be the most popular dish of the evening. I did not taste it myself, but my son, who's a bit of an expert on both foods, declared it "Excellent!"

Service during our stay was prompt and efficient. We ended lingering over coffee for a bit after we finished our meal. The atmosphere was relaxing and welcoming. When we made our visit, I believe Mad Rose had been opened for just over a month. As we were finishing, the restaurant was filling up, and many folks seem to already be "regulars." The weather was not suitable to outdoor dining when we visited, but Mad Rose has a large outdoor dining area as well. I suggest stopping by Mad Rose Tavern when you're next in the Clarendon area of Arlington.

Games, With Guns

I'm sure some folks just went running from the room, so this is for the rest of you. I've made mention a few times recently about shooting sports, but here's a little explanation on why you can expect to see occasional posts about shooting sports included in these Musings. A little over a year ago I attended my first competitive pistol event. This event was a steel event at Black Creek near Richmond. Under the stress of competition, my hands shook and my stomach churned, but it was a blast. Fast forward to the present, I've shot a few more steel matches at Black Creek, I've participated in a couple IDPA matches, and half a dozen or so USPSA matches. I've learned that anyone is welcome at these events, as long as you are safe and responsible. In particular, I've gotten hooked on the USPSA-style of competition.

What makes these games attractive? There are many reasons for me. First of all, it's fun. You can be as fit as an Olympic athlete, male or female, or an older guy with bad knees. You play to your ability. Sure, there's a clock and points are recorded, it is a game after all, but you can still compete against yourself.

It's also the people. There's a stereotypical, and agenda driven, image of a gun owner as violence-prone and looking for a fight, that's promoted by the gun grabbers and dishonest politicians. The folks I've met who participate in shooting sports are responsible, friendly, safe, and come from all walks of life. I spent most of this past Saturday with 109 men and women, seniors to teenagers, all with guns strapped to their waists and boxes of ammo nearby, and it was all smiles and good clean fun. It doesn't matter if a person is shooting for the first time, or is an experienced world champion; folks are friendly and welcoming.

After a week of dealing with the stresses of work, it's great to spend a few hours with like-minded folks, for a little fun and exercise. Running and gunning requires your complete focus, so there's no being distracted by life's little annoyances.

And what about the beer you ask? That comes afterwards. This weekend I came home tired, with aching knees, and a bit of a sunburn. That refreshing craft beer was just the thing with which to finish the day. As I noted above, I'm pretty new to these "games" and I look forward to sharing some of my shooting experiences with you.

Some people might say I cling to my religion too!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Harpoon IPA

During my last trip to the grocery store, my usual beer choices were out of stock, much to my disappointment. Time to look around the aisle. I spotted Harpoon IPA, a beer that I've seen, but passed by, usually in deference to a Virginia beer. I'm familiar with the seasonal Harpoon Celtic Ale from this Boston brewery, so I decided to give their IPA a shot.

Harpoon IPA is lighter and more transparent than I would expect from an IPA. The thick white head is short lived. I found the aroma to be faint and somewhat floral, with a hint of fruit. The flavor is mild as well. It tends towards piney and grassy hops with a hint of sweetness coming through. There's a lingering, grassy, bitterness at the end. Overall this is a milder beer than I expect from an American IPA. It is easy to drink and doesn't overpower the taste buds. The ABV is also on the low end of the IPA range at 5.9%.

While not what I expected for an IPA, I found Harpoon IPA to be a refreshing beer. Despite being on the "mild" side, the flavors are crisp. In a blind taste I might not have pegged it as in IPA, perhaps a pale ale, or even a hoppy red ale. That's okay though, Harpoon's interpretation of the IPA style creates a beer that would probaby appeal to a wide range of beer drinkers.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hey, that's me!

Joel Armato over at The Grain Bill is doing a weekly interview series featuring folks around the world of craft beer. For his April Fools Day post he selected me and Musings Over a Pint. (I'm sure the timing was pure coincidence.)

So if you haven't gotten your fill of things you didn't know about me and this blog, jump over to The Grain Bill and read on.

Joel's blog makes a great read at anytime, so I suggest you bookmark it and visit frequently.

Thanks for the recognition Joel.

The Grain Bill - Week #13 - David Turley