One of the aspects of the craft beer adventure that I’ve always enjoyed is the discovery of amazing new beers. Like you, I’ve had times when I bought something that just looked or sounded interesting and times when I’ve enjoyed a beer because of the recommendation of a friend.
Earlier this week, I stopped into the Liquor Stop in Bel Air and spent some time with their Manager, Jerry Schmidt. Jerry and I have talked a lot about beer over the last ten years and have discovered that our beer likes and dislikes are very similar. So I asked Jerry for a couple recommendations on some IPAs, both for my personal enjoyment and for sharing a couple tasting profiles today on this Craft Beer on The Bay feature.
Jerry selected two beers for me and both were spectacular! First up: Master Chucho, a Double IPA from Tripping Animals Brewing Company in Doral, Florida. This is an incredible example of what a hazy, juicy IPA can be. Master Chucho is a juice bomb! The Tripping Animals brew team used Lotus, Cashmere and Citra Hops and created a masterpiece. It’s an 8.5% ABV beer but you’d never know it by the way it tasted—it’s so easy to drink and incredibly delicious. I poured Master Chucho into a teku glass, revealing an opaque, straw colored, extremely hazy beer with a white, dense head. When I lifted the teku glass to take in the beer’s aroma, scents of orange and grapefruit were wonderfully present. Then once I tasted the beer, I was blown away by how juicy and soft it was. There is almost no bitterness, even with grapefruit and lemon flavors present as I drank this beer. As a just said, this is a juice bomb! Wow!
The second beer was from Cushwa Brewing in Williamsport, Maryland, located just outside of Hagerstown and just a few miles from the Maryland/West Virginia border. This was my first Cushwa beer, but with the Liquor Stop’s Jerry Schmidt giving me this recommendation, I knew that I was going to have something really good. And it was! The beer is called Literally Figuratively and is a New England Style IPA. Using another teku glass, I poured Literally Figuratively high and hard and watched this opaque, hazy beer produce a rich, white head. The aroma had notes of peach and pine and the flavor produced a nice combination of both pine and citrus. Literally Figuratively has a slight hop bite, exactly the amount of bitterness to expect in a New England IPA. This 6.8% ABV beer is brewing with Motueka, Simco and Mosaic hops. This is an excellent New England IPA.
Celebrate America this weekend two ways at the same time: toast our country’s birthday on the 4th of July with an American craft beer!
The Craft Beer Guy