Two outstanding beers at Right Proper Brewing in Washington DC. On the left, dry-hopped Songlines farmhouse (an easy 4 of 4), and on the right, King Harvest farmhouse cream ale (a 3 of 4). Also a delicious French dip here. Songlines is simply delicious - a 4.6% farmhouse with brett and featuring galaxy and motueka hops, this is simply awesome. Bright tropical fruit and a yeasty flatness - although the bright notes shine through. A touch tart, but not overly so, and incredibly complex yet easy drinking. Incredible packing in 4.6%. The King Harvest features corn and oats alongside a typical grain bill, with a nice farmhouse flair. The body is a bit on the sweet side, and the sticky lacing and relatively thicker body are quite nice. Excellent stuff all around - I’d be a regular here if I were in DC.
A handful of shared beers at Bluejacket Brewery in DC. On the top, Travlr’s 12k (Aged in Cab Franc barrels), and Spectre brett IPA on the right. In the middle, The New Black session IPA on the left, and Bird of Prey IPA on the right. On the bottom, Snallygaster 2014 on the left, and Travlr’s 11k (Aged in Chardonnay barrels) on the right. All easy 3’s of 4’s, although I’d definitely say the Travlr’s 11k and 12k are deserving of a 4. The sheer variety and constant quality of all these beers is great - they are all within style, and done very well with an interesting twist. The wine barrel character in the Travlr’s is on point, and some nice tart complexity lurks as well. The Spectre is simply excellent - I’ve had a few brett IPAs, but this is one of the most drinkable, and I wish I could have this all the time. The session black IPA and standard IPA are very good - relatively standard hop profiles with some decent malt development. The Snallygaster is a bit weirdly highly carbonated, but has some nice spice elements alongside a nice fruitiness, although it’s probably my least favorite of the bunch. Nothing absolutely blew my mind here, but everything is quite good.
A couple of IPAs from Siren Brewing at Churchkey in Washington DC. On the left, the Americano Coffee IPA, and on the right, the Flying Dutchman IPA (w/ Evil Twin) - both 3’s of 4. The coffee IPA is an interesting concept - and while the coffee notes are there in the nose, they are missing in the body (which might be a good choice). The deep reddish brown body has some nice caramel notes and some roast to it, as well as a firm, resinous bitterness. Smells of some citrus notes as well as coffee. Not a coffee bomb, for sure, though. The Flying Dutchman has some beautiful sticky lacing and smells of bright tropical citrus fruit and some weird herbal notes. Drinks on the sweet side, yet finishes firmly dry and bitter, but not overly so. After having some in Britain this summer, I’m glad to see Siren is making it to America now.
A trio of beers at Tria Taproom in Philadelphia. On the top, Ommegang’s Belgian Independence Day 2014 IPA (a 3 of 4), on the bottom left, Perennial Artisan Ales’ The Last Word (a 4 of 4), and on the bottom right, Weyerbacher’s Ales for ALS IPA (a 3 of 4). All great - the Ommegang is simply a great Belgian IPA - lots of high sticky carbonation and a earthy belgian yeasty quality on the nose, paired with a juicy citrus hop presence. Firmly bitter, but drinks well and the lighter body with spicy yeast qualities and some citric hop presence makes this good. The Perennial is my first from them - and I’m quite happy - quite reddish orange without much lacing to speak of. Smells like candy and honey sweetness up front, as well as some other citrus notes with a faint sourness. The body gets hugely spicy and funky quite quickly - there are a ton of weird herbal notes and sour lime. Not too acidic, but the acid is firmly there. Interesting stuff. The Ales for ALS IPA is simply solid - nice creamy lacing and lots of tropical fruit on the nose with a firm body bitterness to back it. Not overly bitter, and a nice balancing fruity sweetness, with a simply great nose. Also, Tria Taproom is great - would definitely drop back by the next time I’m in Philadelphia.