Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hangin' With Hangar 24 - At the Tap Room

The Tap Room at the Whole Foods in Santa Rosa is not only a great place to try new beers (thanks to Tyler Smith) but it also turns out to be the meeting crossroads for some very talented Brewmasters who stop by to introduce their products. Case in point: last night the Frau and I visited the Tap Room to try Tyler's new line-up of Belgians, which I did. But an even greater opportunity arose, meeting Kevin Wright, Head Brewer at Hangar 24 Brewery in Redlands, CA.

Kevin Wright, Hangar 24 Head Brewer at the Tap Room.

Hangar 24 Double IPA was on tap so, being the hophead I am, I of course tried it. Instant new favorite!! Good color and persistent head, nose full of hops, some sweetness across the palate that seemed different from malty results, creamy mouth feel and even with the 9% ABV, a balanced and very satisfying finish. After being introduced to Kevin, I asked about the sweetness. He graciously explained that he uses local orange blossom honey adjunct (Redlands is SoCal, you know) to get that result and the use of Simcoe and Citra hops balances it all out.  A masterful brew, two pints of which Kay, the wife and I enjoyed before the keg emptied. Alas!
Hopefully, Tyler will be able to get another keg soon and other outlets (TAPS and Sprenger's come to mind) will offer it as well. Now that the excitement about RR's Pliney has cooled, it's very reassuring to know that there's another brew I can be equally excited about. And not have to wait a year to enjoy it again!

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