There is nothing like celebrating American Craft Beer Week (or any other week for that matter) at your local brewpub. I needed to meet with a couple of people yesterday afternoon, and so I chose Iechyd Da for our meeting place. There are several new beers on tap that are not in the regular lineup. We ordered a Landimore Garlic pizza and Cardiff Carne pizza, and I ordered my mug full of Fearless King Rye Smoked Porter (6.4% ABV, IBUs 66). It had a medium to full body and a great malt backbone, with a bit of spice from the rye. There was also just a hint of smokiness from the cherry-wood smoked malt. Another great beer from Chip's brewhouse.
Other beers out of the regular lineup include:
Brass Band Golden Ale (5.7% ABV, IBUs 24): To describe the beer, the brewery said, “Think wit flavors without the wheat! Light hints of orange, coriander and chamomile pair nicely with citrusy Amarillo hops. Great for summer sipping.”
St. David's Welsh Ale (4.3% ABV, IBUs 24): To describe the beer, the brewery said, “English yeast esters give this brew a distinctly English flavor. Low hopped, a little sweet, a little malty, this lighter side beer is easy drinking!”
Prosperity Pale – Falconer's Flight (5.8% ABV, IBUs 323). This is one of my favorite beers from Iechyd Da, and part of the reason is that brewer Chip Lewis uses a different hop variety each time he brews this beer – this time it's Falconer's Flight hops. According to the description, these hops add some “tropical pineapple, citrus and even peach notes.” This is not an extremely popular hop but did get some pretty good exposure when Dark Horse Brewing Company put Eert Dekoorc FF (Crooked Tree Falconer’s Flight) in its IPA variety pack about a year ago.
I also had a sample of the odd job series on cask – Murray the Hump on hibiscus, which, as you can, guess is Murry the Hump Pale Ale on hibiscus. There was a nice floralness in the aroma and a really good sourness in the flavor. With my love of sours (I know that Chip and his wife, Summer Lewis, also love sours), I would love to see this beer aged in some oak barrels and allowed to sour more fully.
See the tap list photo to view the complete selection.
Construction on the pub garden is coming along well, and might even be farther along at this point if it wasn't for this wet weather. Two entrance ways have been knocked through the block walls and doors have been installed. The slab has been poured, the pergola has been constructed, and a nice looking fence has been erected around the perimeter. The hope is to be finished and open in early June for summertime drinking enjoyment. Summer Lewis has been busy hiring new employees to help staff the new area when it opens.
Check out photos above for progression on construction of the pub garden.
Later after returning home, I enjoyed an East Coast favorite. When it comes to the love of beer, it is good to have friends in far away places. Some friends of mine just visited their children near Burlington, Vermont. This of course is very near Waterbury, Vermont, home of The Alchemist and makers of Heady Topper (double IPA, 8% ABV, IBUs 75), which gets a world class perfect 100 point rating on both RateBeer.com and BeerAdvocate.com. I have enjoyed this beer a few times previously but am always very happy to get a fresh batch. I had barely opened the can when the floral hop aroma hit my nose. It is medium bodied, with a slight bitter beginning. This easy drinking beer is well-balanced between the malt and hops, but the hops have a good presence all the way through.
Many thanks to Iechyd Da for donating a $25 gift card for today's American Craft Beer Hop Notes Giveaway. Be the first person to email me at Eric@EricStraderPottery.com with the correct answer to this three-part trivia question. What style was the replicale that Chip brewed for what festival, and what was the ABV?
Just in case you have been wondering, Jeff Osborn was the winner of the Eric Strader Pottery Bell's Mug. You can learn more about him in an upcoming post.
You can follow Iechyd Da on its Facebook page, or its website at http://www.iechyddabrewingcompany.com/ The brewery is open from 3 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.