By Ewan Porter
Ewan Porter: Ports & Pints
Hello to all my fellow Back9 fans, my name is Ewan Porter and commencing in 2013, I decided to pursue my passion for beer by consuming a different one each day for 365 days.
I have been blogging about it on a monthly basis up until this stage, but you will now be able to track my "Week in Beer" more regularly as I write an update each Thursday for Back9Network.com. I will also be gathering footage of my beer trials that you will be able to view each week on the website too.
There are times in one’s life when you can vividly recall a moment in time that certain things changed their lives forever. My passion for all things beer was launched when I visited one of the great craft beer cities of America: Portland, Ore., in September 2008. Spending a weekend drowning my sorrows following a missed cut at the Nationwide Tour event in Eugene, I was quickly encapsulated by the variety of beers on offer in the city.
I wasn’t familiar with microbrews at this point of my life and drinking alcohol for me wasn’t too dissimilar to any other 25-year-old, which was simply to get inebriated.
Over time, my palate distinguished that lagers were my preference and the crisp, dry feel that the Asian versions produced became my choice. The Japanese standout, Asahi, would always be found in my fridge and wherever my journeys across the globe saw me temporarily settle, I would always be sure to track down its availability.
As is the case with anything in life, the more you experience, the more your horizons are broadened, That cliché never rang more true than with my introduction into the world of beer in 2013.
My travels this year have seen me spend time in Central & South America (Panama, Colombia, Chile & Brazil), Morocco, London, Australia and of course, here in the United States. I’ve been fortunate to have experienced not only some mesmerizing cultures and cuisines, but also beers.
I am not limiting myself to simply one beer per day, nor am I setting out to acquire a gut that would make Chris Farley proud. But I am relishing in the fact I can appreciate one of society’s great pleasures whilst expanding my knowledge.
Thus far in May, I have delved into some of the great IPA’s of the American craft beer scene. While the majority of regular beers found on supermarket shelves or in bars hover between 4% and 5% alcohol volume, IPA’s are a little hoppier, leaving a more bitter aftertaste. Some I have consumed have been in excess of 10% alcohol volume, which obviously means you don’t want to be consuming too many of these unless a raging hangover the next day is your priority. But those that are in the 7-8% bracket are currently holding the fort for me.
Below you will see my first installment for Back9 of my “Ports & Pints” 2013 Beer Guide and I trust that the research I’ve conducted can go a long way towards helping you choose your next beer.
And remember, everything in moderation!
May 1 – Green Flash Le Freak (California, Ale) Very strong hops at 9.3%, medium bitterness and citrus, pine flavor! 7.5/10
May 2 – Shipyard Pugsley’s (Maine, Double IPA) At 9.3% it has surprisingly sweet malts with grapefruit hops. Smooth and refreshing! 7/10
May 3 – Palmetto Pale Ale (South Carolina, Pale Ale) Fruity, citrus hops with mild bitterness and smooth finish! 6.5/10
May 4 – Midas Touch (Delaware, Ale) Strong hops with a rich, sweet, honey aroma and dry finish! 7/10
Hop Stoopid (California, Double IPA) Lively, citrus and grapefruit aromas, strong hops and a clean finish! Wonderful IPA! 8/10
May 5 – Redbrick Hoplanta (Georgia, IPA) Mild-sweet, mild-bitter, hoppy, citrus, tropical aroma with a dry finish! 7/10
May 6 – Sweetwater (Georgia, IPA) Bursting with grapefruit aroma, citrus nose and hops, clean IPA with a smooth aftertaste! 7.5/10
May 7 – Arrogant Bastard Ale (California, Strong Ale) WOW, WOW! Heavy bitter, citrus hops with a little caramel taste! Bold and beautiful! 8.5/10
May 8 – Hazed & Infused (Colorado, Pale Ale) Mild-sweet, mild-bitter with nice, balanced hops and clean, dry finish! 6.5/10
May 9 – Goose Island Sofie (Illinois, Saison/Belgian Style Ale) Fruity, sweet, would be refreshing on a hot summer day! 6/10
May 10 – Back East IPA (Connecticut, IPA) Light hops for an IPA, citrus aroma with light bitter aftertaste! 6.5/10
Long Trail Pollenator (Vermont, Golden Ale) Sweet flavor with light honey aroma but has a watery aftertaste! 5.5/10
May 11 – Speakeasy Big Daddy (California, IPA) Light bodied, orange and grapefruit aromas with a clean, lingering bitter aftertaste! 6.5/10
Chimay Red (Belgium, Strong Ale) Dark fruit, caramel aroma, medium bodied and yeasty! 7/10
May 12 – New York State of Mind Wet Hop (New York, IPA) Grassy, earthy aroma with hints of caramel malts giving it a sweeter edge! 7/10
21st Amendment Gigantes (California, IPA) Citrus, grapefruit aromas, quite hoppy, light bodied, session beer! 7/10
May 13 – Oskar Blues Gordon’s G’Knight (Colorado, Strong Ale) Smooth, very hoppy at 8.7% with hints of fruit – pineapple, citrus and grapefruit with a superbly balanced finish! 8.5/10
May 14 – New Belgium Rampant Imperial (Colorado, IPA) Plenty of citrus aroma, a little spicy, hoppy with a lingering bitter aftertaste! 7/10
Colonel Paris Pale Ale (South Carolina, Pale Ale) Weak, watery aroma with a very slight hint of malts! 4/10
May 15 – Tusker (Kenya, Lager) A little sweet, light bodied but very watery! 5/10
Hitachino Nest White Ale (Japan, Belgian Ale) Fruity, spicy aroma with a sour lemon aftertaste! 6/10
May 16 – Evil Twins All Occasions IPA (New York, IPA) Floral hops, fruity, grapefruit, orange peel, medium bodied, well balanced with lingering bitter taste! 7.5/10
Follow Ewan Porter on Twitter - @ewanports
Next Page: Back9 in 90 - Ewan Porter's Beer Quest
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