In honour of Super Bowl LII, I decided that it was only appropriate to have a couple of American beers with the game! I purchased these a couple of days prior to the event, along with some other beers that come from much closer to home (see LOCH NESS BREWERY POST FOR MORE DETAILS)! With the Super Bowl commencing at 11.30 pm UK time, it was time to get out some cold beers!
The first was ‘Go West! IPA’ by Anchor Brewing Company. The brewery itself is America’s first craft brewery – it dates back to 1849 and was set up by a man originally from Germany. Being one of America’s oldest breweries, I was eager to try out their IPA, as their vast crafting experience must have resulted in some wonderful beer! Their brewing process appears unique, as they use open fermenting pans for brewing, cooled with San Francisco air. This made the beer feel closer to the USA, which was nice whilst watching the game!
‘Go West! IPA’ is made using 4 different hops and comes in at a percentage of 6.7% ABV. The label has a plain silhouette of an elephant on it, with the addition of an anchor logo. The beer itself poured a hazy amber colour that it wasn’t possible to fully see through. It poured perfectly into my Schooner glass and the tan head rose tall above the glass rim! This was a well-rounded IPA, with some citrus scents on the nose. It starts off fresh and sweet, with subtle citrus elements and a hint of pine also. The beer then ended with a punch of bitterness, rounding-off the usual IPA experience. Best served cold, with the glass pre-chilled in the freezer also!
Rating: 2.75/5. ‘Go West! IPA’ by Anchor Brewing Company was a strong start to a new, untapped selection from Anchor. Well rounded, with lots of flavour. Nothing revolutionary by any means, but this IPA gives proof that Anchor can make solid beers; indicating that they might potentially have a strong line up that I will eagerly sample. I will certainly be buying their other beers whenever I see them!
As it approaches the early hours of the morning, a new quarter commences in what, at the time, was becoming an increasingly tense game; at this stage there was little between the two sides and some incredible offensive plays. Consequently, it was the perfect time to grab another new beer! This beer, ‘Toasted Lager’, was created at a brewery from the other end of the states, New York! Having recently sampled Brooklyn beers I’ve had good experiences with brews from this incredible state. The Blue Point Brewing Company was started by a pair of friends who were striving for amazing craft beer in Long Island. With their story starting in 1998, one of the initial highlights of their journey include them tapping their first produced keg in a parking lot! They certainly sound like people I’d happily sit back with and share a few bottles of great craft beer.
It is only fitting that my introduction to Blue Point was that of the first beer that they ever produced – Toasted Lager. It is a blend of 6 speciality malts that are toasted to give a unique flavour. This lager is actually slightly darker than usual – it’s an amber (as shown in the Teku glass below). A mild, light tan head is formed, though this faded quickly. Despite it being advertised as a lager, I kept thinking that it was going to taste like an ale due to the colour! On sampling, the crispness typically associated with a lager hits the taste buds, though the toasted notes start to really flood the palate afterwards, reflecting the beer’s name. It then hits home with a big jolt of bitterness – far more than expected from a category of beers that often fails to deliver much other than “easy drinking”. At first, it’s almost a taste-confusion, as this beer appears to fuse two different categories together. Very, very interesting.
Rating: 3.0/5, ‘Toasted Lager’ by Blue Point at first made me uncertain, but upon drinking more of the bottle, it definitely grew on me.
So there we have it, whilst enjoying these new beers during Super Bowl LII, I have certainly stumbled across a couple of promising breweries. It was just by chance that these beers were selected during my post night-shift shops. My only criteria for choosing these beers were;
- An American brewery
- Bottled in America
Tried any great beers from the USA recently? I know I have a few breweries on my wish list – particularly Tree House Brewing Co and Other Half Brewing – both of which have epic logos!
Oh well – I’ll keep on the lookout for these beers, they’re really difficult to find over here!