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Beer of the Week: Fun for the Fourth


In case you hadn’t noticed, it is hot outside. Big-time hot. Triple-digit hot. Gimme-another-cold-one hot. And it probably won’t get any cooler by the time the Fourth of July rolls around.

The American craft brew scene is also hot, and brewers in this country are creating  some of the best beers in the world today. Some are complex, layered treats worthy of great contemplation. But more than a few just settle for simple excellence. The best thing  to find out how exciting these bottlings are is to go out and pop a few caps.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started, five American beers that’ll make you feel all patriotic because of how good they are.

Fat Tire Amber Ale —Remember the aroma of Mom’s homemade biscuits when they were served with honey on the side? That memory will flash past when you smell this beaut. The finish lingers long in a gratifying way.

Real Ale Firemans #4 Blonde Ale — Brewed up the road in Blanco, this American blonde is a light treat with a great lemony edge that adds to its refreshing qualities in the summer heat. It goes down so easy. Who could want anything more?

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale — Treat your nose to an intoxicating bouquet of floral hops blended to perfection with sweet malt, an apple dipped in caramel and a touch of citrus. Then drink all that down in a well-rounded brew that finishes on a pleasantly hoppy note. Pure liquid joy.

Ranger Creek Mesquite Smoked Porter — The name lets you know to expect some smokiness, but that’s not all you’ll find when you pour this San Antonio brew. There’s a mellow quality with a sweet, smooth chocolate quality that adds a richness that’s perfect for barbecue or whatever you’re having at a picnic.

Dogfish 60 Minute IPA — When you see the IPA on a label, your first thought, of course, is of hops, all floral and bitter. They’re quite evident here, but that’s not all that makes this beer special. You get a good citrus quality as well as a piney note that just adds to the burn as it goes down.

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Beer of the Week: Five for Fiesta


 

 

Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.

 

 

 

 

Let’s face it, Fiesta is not just a party for one day. It’s a party that tests endurance as well as wallet, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, here are five beers that won’t tax your wallet. They also taste great without taxing your attention too much. Plus, some of them are light enough to enjoy if the temperatures get hot, which they have been known to do this time of year.

As always, remember to drink responsibly, during Fiesta and any time. Have a designated driver or call a cab if you’ve had to much, whether it’s at a friend’s house or NIOSA.

Red Stripe — This Jamaican beer adds life to the party. It’s a great sipper and it’s perfect with street food, such as overstuffed gorditas sizzling hot out of the fryer.

Real Ale Firemens #4 Blonde Ale — This local favorite would work with pretty much any dish you might set out. Or you could just enjoy a few by themselves. Your mouth will enjoy the treat.

Harp Lager — Good ol’ fried food, whether it’s chicken on a stick like they serve at the Oyster Bake, fried mushrooms or calf fries, goes down much easier with a clean, cold brew. Simple yet full of flavor, Harp fills the bill.

Pilsner Urquell — Add a little Czech touch with this brew from the town where pilsners originated. One sip will make you want to enjoy many more.

Dogfish 60 Minute IPA — Grilling up some sizzling anticuchos at your home to share with friends? Or a ceviche with plenty of serrano to give it an extra kick? Then reach for this hoppy treat, with a pleasant bitterness that stands up to the heat.

 

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Beer of the Week: Dogfish 60 Minute IPA


 

 

Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.

 

 

 

Dogfish 60 Minute IPA

Give me an IPA, or India Pale Ale, with an extra jolt of hoppy bitters, and I’m happy. Needless to say, I fell for Dogfish 60 Minute IPA from the first sip.

The brew’s website explains the name: “60 Minute IPA is continuously hopped — more than 60 hop additions over a 60-minute boil. (Getting a vibe of where the name came from?).  60 Minute is brewed with a slew of great Northwest hops. A powerful but balanced East Coast IPA with a lot of citrusy hop character, it’s the session beer for hardcore enthusiasts!”

Get this beer well chilled before opening. As you pour it into a mug, you’ll notice its bright golden color with an almost orange intensity. The foam rises about an inch high before settling into a wispy lace around the edge of the glass. As you pour, you also can’t escape the hoppy aromas bursting from the bottle. Both floral and slight piney scents mingle with notes of bread and citrus.

These carry over into the pleasantly bitter flavors of the beer, with an orange-lemon quality and a touch of sweetness floating in that bracing, often piney bitterness. This puppy has plenty of bite. It also leads to a bitter finish that will be welcome to any hop-head like myself.

I love drinking IPAs by themselves. They’re strong and refreshing. But they’re also surprisingly good with strong-flavored food. At the Lion and Rose, these could cut through the heat of the Hackney Hot Wings or offer a contrast to the sweetness of shrimp wrapped  in bacon in the Angels on Horseback plate. Have with any cut of steak or even the Central London Chicken Curry in a coconut-curry sauce with basmati rice.

Any way you pour it, Dogfish 60 Minute IPA is a fine catch.

 

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