Hoppy National IPA Day! I love how IPAs are changing for the better. They are now less bitter with more aroma of floral, citrus and pine. You can thank breweries like The Alchemist, DogfishHead, Stone Brewing, and one of my new personal favorites Otter Creek for setting this trend. Brewmaster Mike Gerhart has changed Otter Creek for the better by introducing new hop-forward beers. The Backseat Berner IPA, Mike Gerhart’s favorite beer, is the first year-round IPA available from Otter Creek. Mike’s clementine Westfalia VW camper and his faithful companion Oslo, the Bernese Mountian dog are featured on the label. So, I painted a Bernese in the back of a VW camper to illustrate the story. I hope Mike and my viewers find this beer painting to be as interesting as I do. I loved the beer! My good friend Adam Johnson brought a six-pack home from his trip to the East Coast. I really hope I get another chance to drink it! Since it’s not being distributed to Alaska, I will have to see about getting a few more bottles on my next trip back East. I hope you get a chance to get out into the woods and drink a freshly hopped IPA today of all days!
The featured beer painting of the day is of a collaborative brew called Double Dose IPA made by Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Otter Creek Brewing in Middlebury, Vermont. This beer was so good, with a floral aroma, flavors of sweet citrus and grapefruit, and notes of pine. I hope these two breweries join forces to make it again and again and again! These guys know how to distribute. I was able to buy this bottle right from the bottle shop without standing in line, which is saying a lot in Vermont if you want an excellent beer, and it was so fresh!
Lawson’s Finest Liquids is a hilltop operation that keeps the brewery private, similar to the Alchemist, and I am okay with that. Who says anybody should be able to walk right up to a brewery and buy growlers? Breweries that want to concentrate on brewing should leave the tasting room out of the equation. Leave it to the pub down the street to satisfy thirsty beer drinkers. When I was touring in Germany I would seek out breweries in hopes of drinking the beer right at the source, but almost always, I was directed by a security guard at the big gate to a pub in the town’s main square.
Otter Creek seems to be the coolest brewery in Vermont. The VW bus, and the tie-dyed bandana that Mike Gerhart is wearing on the label remind me of my younger days. Like Mike, I also started home brewing in high school, but my parents didn’t know, because my friend and I brewed at his house. When we got caught by his parents, hilarity ensued. Our beer was horrible, hence why I am still a home brewer and not a pro.
Cheers to Double Dose IPA! When I think of a perfect brew, I think of a DIPA like the Double Dose! Way to make a beer that is so perfect from the bottle’s label to the last drop!