Bottles of Henry Weinhard's beer were among my gateway craft beers back when I was living in Portland, Oregon, after college. Ah, the good ol' days! This IPA is a newcomer to Weinhard's line-up, and I'm betting it will convince many more novice drinkers to switch over to hoppy, flavorful brews.
Appearance: This one is pure gold in the glass with strings of bubbles clearly visible. The bone-white cap of foam quickly dissolves into a thin sticky layer, leaving decent lacing down the sides of the glass.
Aroma: Sweet malts followed by spring blossom and fresh hop aromas. Light and fresh.
Taste: The bitter hops wash over the tongue and then retreat to the edges with a perfume-y, floral flavor. They leave behind a dollop of mellow caramel hops. Biscuit notes in the finish, followed by a lingering citrus pith bitterness.
The beer has a nice crisp bite and a fresh, thirst-quenching quality. It could be a touch more assertive in the hops and richer in the malts, but I'd call this an all-around satisfying and highly drinkable IPA. Perfect for warmer weather and relaxing after a day outside.
Food Pairings: Seafood comes to mind as the most immediate pairing. It would be excellent with crab cakes or a boiled lobster.
It's available only in the Northwest, sadly. If you travel there this summer, definitely give this beer a try.
Has anyone else had a chance to try it yet?
Related: For the Freshest Beer: Buy a Growler
(Image: Emma Christensen)