Sunday, March 4, 2012

[A Beer a Day] Aprihop Indian Pale Ale | Dogfish Head Brewing | Milton, DE

Hip- ...  Hip hop- ... Hip hop anonymous?
Time to open the windows and let the air waft in to maintain your IPA at a perfect 45° while the records of Duke Ellington and Kings of Convenience spin on the Stack-o-Matic.

Its very nearly time to store whatever porters and stouts you have left over from the winter season and let the wheats, Belgians, and pale ales breath after a season of meddling in the cellar.  

In Austin, that hoppy arsenal might have come out as soon as last week, when temps started spiking at 85°, pretty ridiculous except for the prospect of the seasonal beer rollover.  

This past Friday, Dogfish Head re-entered my psyche with their sublime twist on a fruit beer -- an apricot infused Indian Pale Ale.  I couldn't scream my car out of the faculty parking lot fast enough -- while avoiding small children -- on my way to the bottle shop to get a four pack of this year's offering.  I was pretty bewitched with this beer last year, but was never able to find it in 12 oz vessels -- only the 16oz version at The Draught House.  I've thought about it a lot since.

For those who have enjoyed Pyramid Brewing's Apricot Ale -- a very VERY solid offering by its own merit -- Aprihop is literally nothing like it.  Instead, of the very overt and bright apricot juice of Pyramid Apricot Ale, we instead have the muddled, over ripened meat of the fruit itself, as if mashed into the wort to sit and stew and infuse.  The apricot notes are extremely subtle, but not at all disguised by the hops.  Its a perfect balance of hopped flavor and fruit suggestion -- which is why a fruit IPA is somewhat of a brilliant stroke by master brewer Sam Calagione, where a modicum of craft had to come about in the recipe's design.  I've said it before, but wheat beers are essentially the vodka of beer, where you can manipulate them to taste however you want.  But a fruit IPAs can be better compared to a craft cocktail, which takes a bit of cleverness and skill in making this something worth drinking.  

Its practically Spring, and I will be on the hunt for fresh Aprihop around the city before the summer months horribly oppress us from the outdoors and make Duke Ellington sound like Maxi Priest .  

ABV: 7.o%
Acquired: Here, but not there

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