Happy New Year, everyone! I think 2008 is going to be a great year, full of a lot of adventure and uncharted territory. I hope that you will enjoy some new beer with old friends during the coming year! With that, I present my first Beer of the Month for 2008:
It’s good to have connections… Coast Brewing Company is the newest, and already the best in my opinion, brewery in South Carolina. Having just opened up their doors in October, they are currently only selling draft beer to bars and restaurants. However, they are beginning the process of bottling their beer for sale in area stores, and I just so happened to come into possession of one of a bottle from the first group of their bottled beers. (On a side note, I don’t ever recall having an experience where I was one of the first to have anything, especially before it became publicly available, and considering this is BEER, and it’s GOOD BEER at that, I feel like I’m 10 years old and someone just handed me an autographed John Elway jersey or something. This so cool!!!)
Anyway, on to the beer. The HopArt IPA is an excellent beer for those that like a full-bodied hoppy pale ale. It’s got around 6.5% ABV, so it has more body than your standard IPA. The color is a golden pale with a tinge of amber. The aroma definitely says hops, but it doesn’t make you want to slap your mama with hoppiness.
The hop-flavor is really where this beer is set apart. The hops really comes up and bites you and lingers a bit into the aftertaste. What really stands out to me is how fresh the hops taste. It’s like they just picked the hops off the vine and threw it straight into the vat. It’s not a wet hopped beer, so maybe I’m just crazy. There is also a good amount of malt flavor in the beer to balance out the hops. It even has a little hint of fruitiness in there.
To sum up, the HopArt IPA is Oregon style brought to the east coast. Oregonian brewers have mastered the art of the hoppy ale, and this beer really reminds of the of beers that I tried in Oregon. What a boon to have a beer like this brewed in South Carolina, in North Charleston no less!