~ Apex Special IPA (8.25%), by Bear Republic Brewing Company (Cloverdale, Calif.)
Call it a special IPA, an imperial IPA, a strong IPA, a double IPA, or whatever you like. In my case, I call it one of the best examples of a strong, clean, and very well-balanced hop forward beer. Melon fruit, assertive but palatable bitterness, with a solid bready malt base. I've never visited them in person in all my visits to the brewery's home state. I may change that in October.
~ Hipster Catnip (7.2%), by La Cabra Brewing (Berwyn, Pa.)
Even if I was a hipster before the word was invented (and, hopefully, I wasn't), I don't believe I'd drink a beer that called attention to my hipsterdom. But, here and now, not drinking Hipster Catnip would indeed be dumb. Citra hops. Mosaic hops. Package this up in a cat toy and I'd chase it around all afternoon. They did a very nice job opening their parking lot to an afternoon festival last Saturday and I hope to see many more such events in the future (Something about Oktoberfest was mentioned; watch the calendar.)
Also catching my attention at La Cabra during the event was Zettle. I'm not typically attracted to many a Hefeweizen, but this one's a refreshing balance of clean, not muddied, hallmark spices and its easy finish made this a winner.
Click back here for an index of all beers that I've covered in the past.
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