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Beer of the Week: Big Sky IPA

Opening a beer doesn’t generally remind me of wine, but the Big Sky IPA is an exception.

I opened a bottle recently and discovered a huge explosion of caramel sweetness and flowers bursting forth in the aroma, in keeping with some India pale ales, though perhaps not at quite this intensity. And there was just the right amount of hoppiness bitterness on the palate. Nice.

And just like one of favorite summertime wines, the Argentine Torrontés, which smells floral and sweet but is dry and crisp in your mouth.

But enough about wine. Back to the beer.

Big  Sky IPA poured a rich copper color with one finger of foam that lingered quite a while.

Those intense aromas carried over into the taste, as caramel, flavors of wheat, a touch of orange and herbs mixed with that hoppy bitterness, all leading to a lengthy finish that had a metallic touch.

I enjoyed this brew with a spicy Caribbean-style oxtail stew and let the various spices in both beer and stew complement each other. the same would be true for pairing this with Mexican street tacos with plenty of onion and cilantro on top or grilled burgers with pickles and, again, onions on a whole wheat bun.

This beer comes from Big Sky Brewing is in Missoula, Mont., an area that has plenty of sky indeed — and now it has beers with enough flavor to match.

Brew notes

A new brewery, Busted Sandal Brewing Company, has plans on opening in SA later this year.

According to the company’s website, the “nanobrewery” will specialize in small craft brews made with locally sourced seasonal ingredients: “We are full of brewing energy! Our ambition is to privately brew 20 concept batches in 18 weeks! In November, members of the ‘secret taster’s circle’ will judge the concept batches. From these 20 beers we will select only our best to move forward with. By this time, we will be very close to beginning pilot batch brewing and will begin opening our tasting events to the public!”

The company is the work of brewer and founder Michael DiCicco, “brewchitect” Robert Garza and brewer Joseph Alvarado, who is also responsible for brand development. Follow them on Twitter @bustedsandal for more details.


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