Beers in Review: Assorted trio

In today's BiR, two breweries are making their site debuts! Let's see who's here!

Leading off is Ithaca Beer Company and Flower Power IPA. Flower Power pours an amber to gold color, and is quite bitey--we'll get to that bit in a moment. A delightful flavor profile leads with a sweetness that reminds me of gummy orange slices, perhaps with the sweetness dialed down just a hair (though, still plenty of sweetness to be found). Further on, piney hops and a great deal of floral aromatics donate the senses. The mouthfeel can be a bit prickly, with perhaps almost too much carbonation. The only real downpoint for me was a hop bite that gradually builds while drinking and even after drinking the beer. It's completely tolerable for one beer, but this would probably not be a session, or even just "I'll have another", option.

Next is a beer from Fish Brewing Company, under their Fish Tale Organic series. Their Organic IPA is an orange-bronze color, and I was impressed by the malt/hop balance in this IPA. Initially, a malty sweetness leads off the drinking experience, shortly leading to citrus and pine hop notes with a minimal amount of bitterness. In addtion, there were also some spicy notes present in the back end of the drinking experience. This IPA features what is, essentially, my perfect flavor profile.

Finally, from two newbies to a fairly common brewery, Redhook Ale Brewery and their ESB. A pale orange to copper color, I first noticed the beer's creamy mouthfeel. A mildly sweet caramel maltiness was the first flavor I picked up, along with some earthy and bready notes, almost like a dense wheat or darker bread. There is also a very slight hop bitterness that mostly comes out in the aftertaste. Despite this now being a Budweiser product, I find this to be a decent little ESB, especially for what is usually a fairly affordable price point.

Beers in Review: Finally caught up!

So, this review includes beers from the last two weekends, meaning I'm all caught up on my beers I've drank while out and about in Columbia. This means I need to start drinking more beer--what a torturous life to lead.

Before starting one comment on a beer from a couple of weeks ago. I had Stone's Go To IPA at a local establishment. Now, I don't really have a frame of reference for how this beer should taste, but this beer seemed very obviously off. A colleague of mine with a better idea for Go To's flavor confirmed the same thing, describing it with a pretty unsavory descriptor. This leads me to believe it was a single bad keg or something bad in the bar's set-up. I want to give both the beer and bar the benefit of the doubt, so I am declining to say much about the beer itself, other than I will give it another try at some point, if for no other reason than Stone's quality reputation.

Onto the reviews.

Westbrook Brewing Company has certainly established a reputation as arguably THE top brewery in South Carolina, and one of the best in the country. Beers like their Goze and Mexican Cake are held in the highest regard, and White Thai is a personal favorite. Their seasonal collaboration with The Charleston Beer Exchange, called Citrus Ninja Exchange, is a Double IPA that is pretty light in color. Grapefruit is one of prime ingredients of this beer, resulting citrusy hops and a fruity taste with a pretty clean finish. At 9% ABV, I felt the booze came through more and more as the beer warmed up.

Another Charleston, SC brewery, Revelry Brewing Company, is new to me. They seem to finally be making their way inland from the SC coast. I got to try one of their IPAs, Funkmaster Brett and the Furious Hops. Officially listed as a "Belgian IPA", this beer didn't have a huge hop flavor. I detected some citrusy sourness. I also got a bit of a red wine-like aftertaste. Perhaps this is a result of some blending of styles. Overall, a pretty quaffable beer.

Redhook's Longhammer IPA is a pretty commonly available craft IPA among the Columbia watering holes. Longhammer brought a balanced hop flavor with some mild bitterness. There was also a hint of caramelly sweetness early in the mouthful that resolved to some more piney hop flavors pretty quickly. However, I found that sweetness mixed with some maltiness to hang around longer as the beer warmed up.

This was a trio of varying-style IPAs that were all quite enjoyable.