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Belt’s Beer Garden: I’m Swamped

Bayou Teche’s Swamp Thing

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Another week has passed and, sadly, I have been swamped at work and was only able to try one beer this week...luckily it fits the mood perfectly - Swamp Thing from Bayou Teche.

Named after the 125-mile riverway that intersects the Mississippi River, Bayou Teche Brewing is the pride of Arnaudville, Louisiana – a small city in central Louisiana about 20 miles north of Lafayette. Founded in 2009, the brewery strives to “complement the cuisine and lifestyle of Cajuns and Creoles” and can now be found in six states the South – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Today I have their staple IPA, Swamp Thing, which is brewed with Chinook, Citra, and Mosaic hops and Pilsner and Rice malts. At 6.3% ABV and 60 IBU, each bottle packs a solid punch. And, with a single bottle costing $2 or a six-pack for $10, it’s even priced right.

This IPA poured a bright straw color with a mountain of foam erupting atop the liquid. Over three fingers of dense white head formed a nearly impenetrable blockade that prevented me from drinking Swamp Thing for a few minutes while I waited for it to fizzle out.

On the nose, this brew was had a heavy citrus and floral aroma with some light spice and pine notes to it. It smelled rather sessionable though, like a light, easy drinking, IPA.

After a couple minutes, the head finally allowed me access to the beer. The first taste began with a rush of carbonation that fizzled on across my tongue for a few moments while the flavors seemed to creep upwards from it. Swamp Thing had a heavy mouthfeel than I thought it would, being on the thicker side of things.

As the smell had indicated, it was a very citrus forward IPA. Notes of bitter grapefruit rind, orange, and lemon waltzed across my taste buds. It was surprisingly sweet up front with very little bitterness from the hops (mostly just from that grapefruit).

Once the beer settled down, more flavors came forward. There was a taste of sweeter floral/grassy hops that mixed in some caramel undertones; both of which played well with the citrus flavors. And then there was a dash of pine and some earthiness midway through, the hops way of saying don’t forget about me.

In the middle, Swamp Thing had that mixture of tropical fruits, malty caramel, and floral undertones that made it a really sweet beer that was incredibly easy to pound back. But, as the sip ends, the sweetness fades out and leaves the hops to take over.

It’s not terribly bitter on the backend but the 60 IBU are noticeable; the bitterness mostly coming from that resinous grapefruit rind flavor from early on that never seemed to leave. And, outside of a dash of dryness and that citrus rind lingering on for a few moments, this beer ends rather cleanly and quietly.

Swamp Thing was a very sessionable IPA. Easy to drink, with some good flavors and nothing that sticks out too much. And that’s also the issue. There is nothing that stands out about it…making it your run-of-the-mill citrusy IPA.

It’s a solid choice and one that you can easily polish off multiple bottles of in a single sitting. Good for hot days, day drinking, and days when you just want to sit back and enjoy a couple brews without compromising flavor.