Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Heat Is On!

 After a long and stressful week at work, and with the arrival of hotter and humid weather, I chose a few good beers to relax and cool off with this weekend.  My first choice was Raygun IPA from Backpocket Brewery  This is a brewery I really need to tour, as I've heard from several people the brew house and taproom are beautiful.  Well guess what?  There beer is pretty good too.  I've been most impressed with my last two offerings from them.  Cane Blade (mentioned in the last entry) and this 7% ABV, Galaxy hopped Raygun IPA.  This is what I look for in an IPA.  Well balanced, great aroma, bitter, but not overpowering, and drinks like a 4% beer.  Cheers to Backpocket!  Featured in this picture in Jawbreaker from Skylanders.  Joseph insisted he was featured this entry!

I picked up this Clementine White Ale on my Spring trip to Delaware, and it seemed like to perfect time to enjoy this brew.  I was right!  This citrus, sweet, white wheat was just what I needed to cool off in the humid weather.  To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this beer, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The citrus was perfectly balanced with the spices, wheat, and Belgian yeast.  This is an easy drinking White Ale that would be perfect on the beach, camping, or just relaxing in the back yard.  
Recently I've seen a few people on the beer boards that have made the trek to the West Coast, and would post all these beers that I've only read about before.  So when I came across Ballast Point's Grapefruit Sculpin at Family Beer and Liquor in East Dubuque, I had to try it. I'm glad I did.  This was an excellent,  well balanced IPA whose flavors and aroma married perfectly with the citrus of the grapefruit. They did a great job of keeping the grapefruit subtle so it blended perfectly with the citrus of the hops, and showing why this is an award winning IPA.
Next time you're in the East Dubuque area, stop into Family Beer and Liquor (the store with the best name) and check out the amazing Craft Beer selection that Tim has amassed for our enjoyment.

Other than making it easier to enjoy some great summer brews, the hot and humid weather has also helped the Jalapeno peppers grow.  I've received two bags of peppers from my brother in-law Jared, and today I put them to good use.  A quick and easy pickling recipe will keep these pickles fresh and delicious all year round.  If only we had a bigger fridge so I could do more!

I'm currently lining up a tour with what may be the Midwest's best brewery, and will post more about that as soon as the details are ironed out.  I also hope to be meeting up with Dan from Dogfish Head Brewery in a few weeks when he makes a trip back to Iowa, so hopefully we can share a few brews together.

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