There are sometimes when a beer is so many things that it gets a little complicated to describe it fully. Such is the case with today’s beer.
But to start with, I have to mention the breweries. First is Angry Chair Brewing (named after the Alice In Chains song?), a new-ish brewery opened in the Seminole Heights area of Tampa. The other, B. Nektar, is a meadery based near Detroit, Michigan that is starting to get a lot of play in the Sunshine State. Ironic, since as I write this, Tampa is playing Detroit in the 1st round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
So I enjoy mead. And mead, for those of you that have never been to a renaissance festival, is a fermented honey wine. Excellent stuff, and I’ve noticed that it’s making quite the comeback. Similar to the mead is a braggot, which is honey added to the fermentation of beer. This is another variety that I’m seeing the massive growth of, which makes me happy.In the end, Angry Chair brought an IPA, B. Nektar brought 420 pounds of their honey, and together fermented Girthquake (IPA Braggot, 10% ABV, 90 IBU).
First of all, can we discuss the name? There’s no way I can order this beer and not feel fat. Seriously.
Second, wow. This is an explosion of sweet honey flavor. I mean really. You smell it, and you smell the lightly sweet honey. When you taste it, especially the first several sips, the honey really shines. It’s big and bold. Once the beer warms up a bit, then you get the big hop flavor the IPA brings to the beer. That middle zone, when the hops are starting to come through, is the best time. The sweet honey mixes well with a meaty, mature zesty hop flavor to create a fantastic beer.
This is the first I’ve tried from either of these breweries, and I enjoyed it. This is a fantastic way to introduce a newbie drinker to IPAs as well, since the honey eases the big hop bitterness in quite nicely.
And, in the interest of full disclosure, Go Bolts.
Drink Florida Craft,