This week I have a pale ale and a “new world IPA” to share with you.
I’ll start with the pale ale because...well, because I can. Here’s Central Waters’ HHG.
Central Waters originally called Junction City, Wisconsin home and has been brewing up beer since 1998. In 2007 they moved into a new facility in Amherst, Wisconsin (30 miles east, in basically the middle of the state) where they still are today.
Today they offer nine year-round beers (with an additional tenth that’s only available in Amherst) and are available around the Midwest in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and New York and Pennsylvania as well.
I found their HHG APA which is a beer brewed in collaboration with a local folk/bluegrass band, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades. A six-pack cost the usual $9.99 and each bottle comes filled with a 5.3% ABV and approximately 45 IBU.
This American pale ale poured a cloudy golden-amber color. There was very little head to HHG, maybe a half a finger of slightly off-white foam that billowed upwards. And, almost immediately, it began to fizzle away, leaving just a dusting around the edge of my glass with a solitary cloud of bubbles in the center.
On the nose, this beer smelled wonderful. It had a light hoppy scent with a handful of citrus notes and some light pine lingering behind it all. Tropical fruits like pineapple and mango lead the way but there is also a bubblegum quality to it as well. Some caramel malts provide a backbone to the beer but this was a very citrus-forward APA.
My first sip began with a huge burst of those citrus notes. Leading the way was grapefruit and pineapple with the mango right behind. Towards the middle of the sip a light passion fruit flavor emerged for a little while. The malt added a nice sweetness to the beer and really cut into any hoppy bitterness there otherwise would have been.
As the sip fades away the pine quality from the smell makes a very, very brief appearance but, for the most part, the taste followed the scent and was all citrus. There wasn’t even much of a bitterness to this APA…it was super light and sessionable (there are only about 45 IBU). I could easily drink the whole six-pack in a matter of hours.
HHG ends with very little dryness and no lingering aftertastes. It just cuts out after a few seconds – a clean, crisp ending.
There is a mild amount of carbonation that fizzles on your tongue for most of the sip but, to me, this beer was actually a little on the watery side with a lighter body than I was expecting. Surprisingly (from the amount of head it initially had), it laced the glass relatively well, marking the glass with some nice cloudy formations as I drank the beer down.
Overall, HHG was a great lighter APA. Perfect for bonfires or just chilling listening to music. It was so easy to drink and had some really amazing flavors. Put on an old vinyl (or, preferably, an HHG one), crack open a bottle, and enjoy the music…and life.
Up next, a beer from a local chain of brewpubs...Emmett’s.
Emmett’s began in West Dundee, Illinois back in 1999 as a restaurant/brewery. Since then they’ve expanded to four locations in northern Illinois…with each brewing their own beer on site.
They offer five year round beers from five different styles – a Helles lager, milk stout, deliberation ale, pale wheat, and an IPA. It shouldn’t take much guessing to figure out which one I reviewed for you today…their World’s End IPA.
World’s End is available at the brewery or in six-packs throughout Illinois. At $9.99 for six, it’s the same price as almost everything else. But this brew contains a 6.8% ABV and 80 IBU.
This “new world IPA”, as its label boasts, poured a light copper color with minimal head. The few white bubbles that emerged from the flowing beer only got a finger high (if that) before quickly fading to a mere ring around the edge of the glass and a solitary cloud in the middle of the beer.
World’s End smelled really good. There were loads of tropical fruit notes emitted but it was pineapple that took the cake. This was heavily scented like pineapple…and, although some passion fruit, grapefruit, and lemon lingered behind it, this was almost like a boozy pineapple juice.
My first sip started with just a mellow rush of fizz (still really light on the carbonation though) and a lighter body than most IPAs. From there the flavors then came out really quickly and wow…they were everything the aroma promised and then some!
Pineapple still leads the way but the other tropical fruits showed themselves more here than in the aroma. Mango, passion fruit, grapefruit, and more pushed their way forward in the flavor to cut into the tartness from the pineapple.
The whole sip consisted of (pardon my use of an already over-used beer term) juicy tropical fruit with some very, very faint light malts rounding everything out. The malt added a sugary sweetness to the beer at the very end that really cut into the hops.
There was some hoppy bitterness (and 80 IBU that’s to be expected) but honestly it was very mild and, between the flavors and the sweet malt at the end, this was a really easy to drink beer.
On the backend there was no lingering hop profile or even any dryness to it. It simply ended just as juicy as it started.
I tried to pace myself with this one, telling myself to savor it and all that jazz. But after just a few minutes I was already two-thirds done with it. And, after disposing of that much beer, I noticed that there was very little lacing from this one – just a few cloudy splotches that hovered a few millimeters over the beer and slowly sank downwards.
Emmett’s has a really good IPA here. The 6.8% is high enough to have an effect while the beer tastes light enough to be sessionable. If I got the full six-pack of this beer, it would all be gone tonight. I like it that much. Well done, Emmett’s!!