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Dog(fish) Days of Summer

You like me, you really like me

You like me, you really like me

Summer officially starts next Sunday, but for us here in Florida it’s been summer for weeks now. With the heat & humidity reminding Sunshine State residents of the dog days of August and September.

I stopped by my local Fresh Market earlier this week to pick up dinner, and was in need of something refreshing. They were running a special on several beers, so I decided on the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Milton, DE; Imperial India Pale Ale; ABV: 9.0). This beer had fallen out of favor with me in the past year or so, as I felt that they were sacrificing the original taste for a more alcoholic bite. While it was still a pretty good beer, it seemed a bit overrated and not up to previous standards, or comparable to top flight IPAs such as Green Flash Imperial IPA, Stone Ruination IPA, & Bell’s HopSlam Ale.

Well, I got home, poured it into a chilled DFH glass, and hoped for the best. Maybe it was the humidity, or the long day that I had at work. Maybe DFH read my mind. Guess what? I liked it, I really liked it! The alcohol is still there, but it’s balanced by a wonderful array of big citrusy hops & malt. The finish is crisp & clean. Just like old times.

My faith has been restored, and I once again consider this beer one of the best IPAs out there.

In addition to Dogfish 90 Minute IPA, I had several other excellent brews recently at the Mellow Mushroom:

Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; American Brown Ale; ABV: 5.5. A truly outstanding brown ale. The toasted malt up front is well balanced by oatmeal, milk chocolate, & caramel. More than holds its own with the classic English brown ales. The best offering from a brewery known for its outstanding beers.

Stone Imperial Russian Stout; Stone Brewing Co.; Escondido, CA; Russian Imperial Stout; ABV: 10.8. Bell’s Expedition Stout gets all of the fan fare among the imperials, but this beer blows it out of the water in my opinion. The rich chocolate taste is complimented by roasted malt, coffee, & a mild hoppy finish. Very smooth for a beer with an ABV of nearly 11%. Rivals Brooklyn Black OPS as my favorite Russian Imperial Stout.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine (2009 Double Dry Hopped); Stone Brewing Co.; Escondido, CA; Barley Wine; ABV: 11.3. Another superb offering from Stone. Big malty taste with hints of bourbon & vanilla, & a blast of citrusy hops. Reminds me of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot.

  1. Steve
    June 15th, 2009 at 17:08 | #1

    Good research! I am tasting numerous craft beers up here lately. Mostly from Short’s Brewery in Bellaire, Michigan and also from Right Brain Brewery here in Traverse City. Mackinaw Brewing is another craft brewery and restaurant in Traverse City, where I am also a member and I have been in there a couple times. I did also go out to a hop yard, where local agriculture is beginning to grow hops for craft breweries. They had a big pig roast, beer from Right Brain Brewery – an asparagus beer and a maple beer, both very good. We did learn a ton about hops as well – great day all around, although it was quite cool. Later, Steve

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