Four Great Beers I Discovered During Lockdown & A Delightful One
As we are trying to emerge from the Lockdown Spring of 2020, some good did come from it. One thing I think we learned is how much we enjoy being able to come and go as we please. On the downside, I think we learned how many whiny cusses there are around here. And on a personal note, I discovered four new beers that have joined my personal "starting line-up."
The quarantine/lockdown started out around the time of Oberon Day, and while Oberon obviously wasn't a discovery, under the circumstances, it just maybe tasted a little better this year. I was lucky enough to get some good oranges and the Oberon was plentiful at Meijer. We also had a good time doing a virtual Oberon Day toast on the air, and then joining Larry Bell, virtually, for his.
I don't know about you, but I like a good variety of beers. (Up front, let me say, I'm not big on hoppy beers, much like I'm not big on dry wines.) Of the four I discovered. two are New England IPA's, which are probably my favorite style of beer, the third was from California, via Grand Rapids, and one is actually two, and I'll explain below.
Maybe my favorite discovery comes from downtown Kalamazoo via Decatur. Final Gravity's Hash Juice looks like orange juice with a head, and it's oh, so drinkable. And the nice thing is, it's ABV is only 5.5%, which is less than my other favorite NEIPA, M-43. (You might want to check with them on availability, as it's not currently on their website, but I just picked some up on Saturday.)
Another discovery is Bell's Incessant, another NEIPA. I'm surprised to find out its ABV is 8.5%, because it doesn't feel like it has the kick of a mule. Again, it's quite drinkable.
My third discovery comes from Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, California. It was a limited release Sour Pineapple. I got some of at Rishi's Liquors in Grand Rapids. A commentor on BeerAdvocate.com said it well. "A decent fruited sour that would be nice for a hot sunny picnic or BBQ."
My final "discovery" is sort of a misnomer, as it's two variations of Oberon that have had limited releases from Bell's. Mango Oberon back in April was wonderful, and while I won't get to try it until Father's Day, my son picked some up Raspberry Oberon and says it's "delightful". The only problem with these limited Bell's releases is they sell out on the website in a matter of five minutes or so.
Have I had any disappointing beers? The only one I wanted to love and didn't was M-43's lower calorie sibling, B-43. It's ABV is 7.0% and that's about the only thing that stands out. The alcohol calls attention to itself, and there wasn't much flavor. But I still love M-43, so there's that.