Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tuesday Night at the Movies

Tuesdays are discount nights at our local theater so the Frau and I frequently pick that night to catch up on our movies. By an amazing coincidence, HopMonk Tavern has a happy hour that leads up to movie time. So, tonight was a typical night. Got there before 6, ordered their excellent fish tacos with beer-battered fish chunks at a very reasonable price, and looked to see what new beers await. Right off the bat, two choices just leaped off the menu and smacked me across the nose (metaphorically speaking): 

Sculpin, left; Mongo, right. Identical SRMs.
Port Brewing Mongo IPA and Ballast Point's Sculpin IPA.

The Mongo (8.5% abv) is a full-bodied hopbomb with an intense assortment of hops; Columbus, Amarillo and Cascades. Still, it's very nicely balanced and the creamy mouth feel delighted my palate and set up the dry finish very nicely. This is a very satisfying beer.

Ballast Point's Sculpin IPA has been one of my top ten IPAs since I first had it last March in San Diego. Tonight I noticed that it had a long, lingering finish after a full-bodied journey over the palate. Always a pleaser.

As you can see in the pic, they are 12 oz pours and have very similar SRMs. Carbonation on the Mongo was a little crisper, I felt.

Happy hour means home-made potato chips. Yum!!
But the big surprise of the evening, another new one for me, direct from Uinta Brewing in Salt Lake City (Mormons- who knew?), a new fave: Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA. (9.2%). This beer is amazingly smooth, with a very creamy body and the mouth feel I love in IPAs. More medium body than the color suggests, it's not aggressively hopped, tho the finish is appropriately dry. This one is a winner.
The brewmaster says it's because the toasted, chocolaty dark malts align with an astronomical amount of hops. No mention of the hemp adjunct which is indicated on the label. They associate the name with a star in the Big Dipper, also named Dubhe (pronounced doo-bie). With the hemp addition, I'm thinking of an entirely different animal. Anyway, try this when you can. You won't be disappointed.

Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by Unger, Richard W. [Pape (Google Affiliate Ad)
Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota (Revised Edi (Google Affiliate Ad)

 The Complete Homebrew Beer Book: 200 Easy Recipes from Ales and Lagers (Google Affiliate Ad)

Smoked Beers: History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes by Daniels, Ray/ La (Google Affiliate Ad) 

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