• Sean Bardwell

Hale's Pick's - IPA Variety #1

A few months ago Cape Horn Beverage in Red Lion, PA came under new ownership. I didn't really notice at first but after a few visits, something seemed different. The beer selections were better and wider. You could buy a 6 pack of a craft beer vs an entire case and a small yet wonderful touch: clearly marked prices. No more walking up to the register and keeping my fingers crossed that I didn't just pay $20 for a 4-pack. Now I know when I'm spending too much money on beer because I'm a beer snob. However, their pricing is incredibly fair.

The day it finally became apparent to me some changes had been made was when I walked in and discovered Founder's Marvelroast: an Imperial Golden Ale w/ Coffee, Cocoa Nibs, Vanilla and Milk Sugar...available as a 4-pack for under $11.

When I went to pay the lady working the register said, "we just got that in today!" We started having a conversation about the changes and she let me know that a big part of their change was a gentleman named Hale whom she promptly introduced me to.

After a few visits and conversations, Hale and I exchanged numbers. It was like having a new "drug" dealer and girlfriend at the same time. I remember having a conversation with one of my friends about a new beer coming out. I said that I wanted to text Hale to see if he could get it but I wasn't sure if it was "too soon" and didn't want to seem "too pushy" this early in our relationship. Hale has welcomed and come through with almost every request that I have thrown at him. Hale is a good dude who doesn't make feel awkward about being a beer snob.

The other day I noticed in the cooler that they had "Hale's Picks." They were 4-packs he put together consisting of 4 different beers of certain varieties. There was a "Dark Variety", "IPA Variety 1 & 2" and a "Sour Variety." FANfingTASTIC! This is such a brilliant idea and I hope that it does well so he can continue to offer this.

To show my support I picked up IPA Variety 1 and here is my review:

Singlecut Beersmiths: 18-Watt IPA

This is a Session IPA. For those of you that don't know, a Session IPA is most commonly considered an IPA under 5% ABV. This allows you to be able to drink a few of them and still be able to function.

It starts with a subtle orange and tropical taste and finishes with pine. It is not at all a heavy, in your face IPA.

Perfect beer for a backyard BBQ. Allows you to hang out and have a few without compromising your "beer-snobiness." I will fully admit I am a beer snob and proud of it!

I could also see this being a good beer to introduce your less beer savvy friends to. This is an unusually smooth IPA with very little bitterness, yet still highlighting what a true IPAs flavor profile should consist of.

Thin Man Brewery: Trial by Wombat

This is a New England style IPA. They tend to have a more subtle and less piney hop taste. They have juicy, citrus and floral flavors. They also have a hazy appearance and smooth consistency or "mouthfeel."

The Trial by Wombat is incredibly smooth and pours super hazy. It has subtle hints of orange, pineapple and peach. At 7% ABV you need to be careful with this one. It's incredibly drinkable so pace yourself.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative: Mirror Universe

This is another IPA.

Personally, this is a little too hoppy for me. It has a smooth consistency but finishes very "resiny."

Sterling Pig Brewery: Big Gunz DIPA

DIPA stands for Double India Pale Ale. This style focuses on hops and usually has a medium-high alcohol content. 8% is what this one clocks in at.

It has a slight floral aroma and is incredibly drinkable. Typically beers with this high of an IBU can be a bit overwhelming. This beer is balanced perfectly!

Overall, Hale did a fantastic job making this variety pack. I look forward to trying some more!

"Drink this and B well"

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