The featured beer painting of the day is of Zee Lander IPA by Toppling Goliath Brewing Company in Decorah, Iowa! The brewery is nestled away in a small Norwegian-American town of 8,000 people, surrounded by farm fields. The best part about the town is the small brewery, which is rapidly expanding, and makes a noteworthy IPA single-hopped with New Zealand hops. The New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hop pack a punch, but is not overwhelming. Flavors of citrus are confronted by hints of earth tones and flowers making this bright-tasting IPA completely note-worthy. Somehow this beer manages to be a big and bold IPA with an alcohol content of only 5.5%. With a 96 rating on Beer Advocate, this beer is considered world class.
My new friend Keith, who is an avid beer-trader, brought this one over from a recent beer trade, and I am very appreciative that he chose to share this nectar with me. Many people have been instrumental to my goal of drinking and painting at least one beer from every state for the Year of Beer Paintings project. I am still looking for, but have leads on, Arizona, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, New Jersey, and DC. I still do not have leads on West Virginia and Maryland. If I receive these few remaining beers I will have met my goal, which in turn increases the Year of Beer’s chance to showcase beers to a larger audience, hopefully spreading my love of beer to all corners of the nation.
The best part about this project has been learning about these tiny beer hotspots. Living here in Alaska, I am a little sheltered when it comes to beers available in different sections of the USA. I have had just about every brew that is noteworthy that is distributed here. I am especially tuned into the Alaskan craft beer scene, but the beers that don’t come way up North are a different story. For example, I never knew about Tröegs in Hershey, Pennsylvania, but was sent a couple Mad Elf beers for a commission, and I was immediately hooked on seeking out new and tasty brews from across this vast country. America has strange and complicated beer laws, so I trade in order to find the most interesting new beer flavors. It has become a hobby and a quest all in one. The renaissance of craft brewing needs to be celebrated. That is the end aim of this project, to seek out new bold craft brews, capture them in oil paint and share the story they inspire.
Cheers to Toppling Goliath! One stone throw and the little guy comes out on top. Great job with your Single Hop Series! I wish I could try every one of them, especially the one with Citra Hops.