Another week, another craft beer to savor. This weekend, I chose Dogfish’s 60 Minute IPA to try.
IPAs are “India Pale Ales”, an old style of beer developed in Britain in the 19th-Century but most popular on our side of the Atlantic. The beer involves using more hops than lighter beers, and roasting the barley more to give it more flavor and strength than a typical lager. The Brits began brewing it for troops stationed in India, hence the name, and found this style was not only popular with them, but stood up to long periods of storage (as would be necessitated by shipping to India from England then) better.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, I find, is an interesting piece of the coastal Delaware landscape and economy. It’s a micro-brew sure, but offers more. Like their own restaurant and bar, but more uniquely a cool, 16-room inn you can stay at! And when you wake up, you can brew some Dogfish coffee… yep, they have their own line of breakfast bevvies too! Dogfish seem to revel in their quirkiness and have metal artwork decorating their grounds and commission “off-centered” artists to design fun labels for their various beers.
There are quite a few brews on the Dogfish roster, but most seem to fall into the “IPA” category. Among them is “American Beauty”, a drink put together with the co-operation of the Grateful Dead. That’s one to look out for on a future Boffo Beer Blog. Today’s 60 Minute IPA is said to be their most popular drink and differs from the 90 Minute IPA in how long they boil the hops. They began making it over 20 years ago, and describe it as having a “bold, timeless flavor…pungently, citrusy, grassy hoppy and floral” It checks in at 6% APV, a bit stronger than your routine brew. They use “northwestern hops” which apparently are stronger but not necessarily more bitter than most other varieties.
I cracked open the 12-ounce bottle to have with a late-afternoon meal of a salami sandwich and finger food veggies from olives to celery. I poured it to find a thick, long-lasting head on it and a mildly cloudy, rich amber color. It looked rather like many popular wheat beers.
Tasting it was equally pleasant, if not more so. Dogfish got this right. I’m not sure what “grassy” would taste like, nor if it would be a positive trait for the tastebuds, but this drink does indeed exude hops and a touch of citrus yet lacks the intense bitterness many “hoppy” drinks have. It left my mouth a wee bit tingly, and while it seemed to keep its strong yet not too bitter qualities in the aftertaste. It offset the spicy heat of jalapenos and the sweetish bell pepper slices equally nicely. Indeed, it was unusual in having such a strong hoppy flavor without being bitter like a pre-ghost-visit Scrooge.
Dogfish say this is “most balanced IPA on the market.” I think they may not be too far off the mark saying that. Overall, I’d say this would be a pretty good choice to go with a number of meals or situations. I give it 8 out of 10 for strength and 9 out of 10 for flavor and all-in-all
four-and-a-half out of five dancing teddy bears.