Beers in Review: A Sessionably (?) Fruity Pair

We start off today's BiR with a Session IPA from North Carolina's D9 Brewing Company. Swell Rider is officially listed as a Tangerine Session IPA (the ABV lines up at 5.1%) that is a year-round D9 offering, but it seems to get a bigger push in the summer (as evidenced by the addition of 16oz cans to the year-round bottle and keg offerings). It pours a slightly hazy light yellow, looking almost like a hazy white wine. The citrus aromas came through in a big way, and they carried into the flavor profile, as I got tangerine and orange, along with tangerine rind (which was also utilized in the bittering process of this IPA). The rind ramps up as it warms, serving to cancel out some of the more pure fruit notes. Despite the power of the rind, the general bitterness is more on the mild side, especially at the back of the throat towards the end of the drinking experience. This all serves well for a sessionable IPA, though. Very nice, overall.

Next up is a Salt Lake City-based brewery that I had only previously seen when travelling to the West Coast. A local bottle shop had Uinta Brewing Company's Birthday Suit Sour Cherry Blonde. Now, I can't be 100% certain, but a little bit of research leads me to think that this is Birthday Suit 19, with each edition of Birthday Suit numbered to reflect the brewery's anniversary each year. Uinta have entered their twenties, so this is likely either a rebrew or some other beer that I'm missing. This Blonde brought a lot of sessionable qualities, though the ABV is a little too high for a session beer (6.2%). The beer pours a nice hazy peach color, and is mildly sour and brings a whole lot of fruity cherry notes. There is also a mild funkiness in the beer, both in flavor and mouthfeel. To me, it was reminiscent of the gunky mouthfeeling of drinking cranberry juice or perhaps a lemonade from concentrate. I appreciated the relatively low sour level in this Blonde. It made the beer more drinkable, and ALMOST turned this into a legit session beer (held back only by that slightly-too-high ABV).