As part of our Brew Series, we have done some hands on research. Well, hands and mouth, actually.
We have sent an army of beer soldiers to all regions of the country to sample beers and we will be releasing our top pick for each state by region. First up, the Deep South!
Snake Handler Double IPA – Good People Brewing Company
A bitter (103 IBU), hoppy, double IPA from the deep south, Birmingham Alabama. This beer delivers on citrus and pine hops up front, and a smooth, clean finish. Did I mention this is from Alabama, not necessarily known for its plethora of IPA style beers, yet they are breaking the mould and really setting a new precedent, good IPA’s are not exclusive to the west coast anymore. This is one to sip and enjoy at 10% ABV, it’s deceiving how quickly that delicious taste can go to the head.
What She’s Having Double IPA – Wooden Robot Brewery
If you’re headed down to the Charlotte, North Carolina area anytime soon make sure to stop in at Wooden Robot Brewery, nestled in the heart of the city it’s a great urban brewery featuring many small batch beers such as the “What She’s Having” DIPA (8.25% ABV). “What She’s Having” is the big sister to the ‘What he’s having’ IPA and part of a continually changing DIPA series the brewery features.
“What She’s Having” is a unique Double IPA that any hop lover will enjoy; while the hop recipe will vary batch to batch it will always highlight a very strong hop profile featuring a thick, sweet malt base creating a very drinkable DIPA.
As the bartender pours the beer you’ll notice the bright, hazy golden color followed by the formation of a near perfect head. As your Snifter glass is passed in front of you there’s no avoiding the strong hop and citrus aromas permeating, it’s a great preamble to the main event.
As you take your first sip you’ll surely notice the strong dry hoppy bitterness at the front, followed by a sweet malty base that mixes with the subtle flavors of Pine, Grapefruit and Pineapple to finish with a fruity bitterness that leaves you craving the next sip.
While you likely won’t find Wooden Robot Brewery or ‘What She’s Having’ listed on the top 10 North Carolina craft beers, I can promise that you’ll be glad you’ve found this up and coming brewer and won’t be surprised when it does make its rightful appearance on the list of top rated brews.
Boy King Double IPA – Coast Brewing Company
This selection may come as a surprise to some of our more experienced beer drinkers as they’ve grown up in a period where South Carolina had stringent laws on breweries and tasting rooms; making them almost non-existent within the State. As recently as 2013 there were only 8 brewers that called the Palmetto State home.
Thankfully recent changes in the state beer laws have caused the industry to explode boasting 27 breweries and 13 tasting rooms by the end of 2015! With continued growth on the horizon and an ever expanding list of new brews to try, South Carolina is being added to the ‘wish list’ of craft beer fans across the country.
Once within the State you’ll want to make it to Charleston and, no, I’m not saying that because of the beautiful sites, but rather because you’ll want to head up to North Charleston and hang out at Coast Brewing Company for an afternoon. David Merritt, along with his wife Jaime Tenny, helped lead the changes in legislation within South Carolina and have since become one of the breakout brewers, boasting some of the State’s most popular brews such as The Boy King DIPA (9.7%).
You can find The Boy King on draft as well as sold locally in cans and you’ll probably want to purchase a few as the 9.7% ABV begs for you to enjoy this brew in one location, without responsibilities or schedules to concern yourself with.
As it’s poured into your Snifter glass you’ll notice the golden-amber color along with a light haziness finished by a decent head that doesn’t flatten out too quickly. As the head slowly dissipates you’ll smell the hop forward nature of this double IPA along with the aromas of orange, grapefruit, and hints of the tropics brought together with pine and spruce.
Dive into your first sip as orange and pine greet your taste-buds, followed by tropical notes mixed over a caramel malty backdrop that finishes sweetly before leaving a light hoppy bite at the end. As you continue with the glass you’ll find that there’s a nice body to this brew, slightly thicker than other brews you’ll find on tap but very enjoyable.
This is by far one of the best that SC has to offer us this year and I can’t wait to check back in on Coast Brewing Company in a year or two and see where they’ve taken the South Carolina craft beer scene.