I celebrated American Craft Beer Week with one beer —one local beer— each day during the week of 11 - 17 May. Local for me is the Washington, D.C./Maryland/Virginia area.
Day Seven (17 May):
I finished the week of drinking locally, very locally, at home. A simple tomato sandwich, a slice of Cabot Cheddar Extra Sharp Cheese ... and a bottle of Snake Dog IPA from Flying Dog Brewery of Frederick, Maryland.
I.P.A. is the unsexy acronym for India Pale Ale, a style of beer said to have been first brewed to survive the sea voyage to India, and the British troops stationed there. New scholarship says otherwise, but the name India Pale Ale remains in use for a deep-hued golden Pale Ale of fairly high alcohol with a good slug of hop bitterness and often high hop aroma.
With a slice of artisinal cheddar cheese, I might normally recommend a less aromatic, less alcoholic 'standard' Pale Ale, maybe one with a bit more nutty-malt character. but with the same dry finish that hops supply.
But the Snake Dog from Flying Dog, at 7.1% alcohol by volume (abv), did just fine. It's the dry finish of hops in a bitter, or in a pale ale, or in n I.P.A.— that is the flavor hook that connects to the sharpness of cheddar.
And as to the exercise of drinking locally?
Drinking a local beer each day of the week easy, ridiculously easy. What was difficult was choosing which local beer, of the many breweries I missed. And that ... that was the point of the exercise.
The first 6 local beers for the week:
- Day 1: Gordon-Biersch Maibock
- Day 2: Starr Hill Amber Lager
- Day 3: Rock Bottom Brown Ale
- Day 4 :Vintage 50 Red Ale (cask)
- Day 5: Capitol City Organic Saison
- Day 6: Clipper City Big DIPA (cask)
- My take on American Craft Beer Week: Support American LOCAL Beer.