With summer around the corner, it means a renewed thirst for typical summer beers. For this writer, there is probably nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a crisp, bitter India Pale Ale. Similar to unsweetened iced tea for the non-drinkers, an IPA provides a nice bitterness that is balanced out by undertones of orange, lemon, and a few spices here and there that one can enjoy for a while.
Despite the fact that there are some major brands on the market, this is a style that local craft brewers have taken to like a duck to the Charles River. One local brand that puts up a good variant of this bitter brew is the IPA from The Shed Brewery in Middlebury, Vermont.
The Shed IPA is similar to Harpoon IPA in style, but it has more fruitiness that does well to offset the typical bitterness of an IPA, with notes of orange and lemon coming from the head, which if poured correctly lingers for a good minute. The best part about this beer, though, is that it tastes as good as it looks, and smells.
The amber liquid hits the tongue with a bitter freshness that wakes up the taste buds, and then leaves an aftertaste of orange zest on the back of the tongue, and a clean finish that leaves the drinker wanting another sip. It’s a beer that is best enjoyed cold, because the citrus notes tend to get lost as it reaches room temperature.
The Shed Brewery puts out a good clean beer at a very good price, which is good for a seasonal type of beer. It’s clean, refreshing, and enjoyable, with a hoppy bitterness that is both refreshing and stimulating. When it’s 90 degrees outside, The Shed IPA is a good choice for summer-in-a-bottle refreshment.