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Belt’s Beer Garden: Waving Goodbye to Summer

Matchless’ Wave of Extinction & Parish Brewing’s Ghost in the Machine

This week I wave goodbye to summer with Matchless Brewing’s Wave of Extinction, a summer IPA, and Parish’s Ghost in the Machine...a double IPA from Louisiana that I’ve been waiting to try.

Matchless Brewing began in Tumwater, Washington in 2016 but their taproom was a little delayed, opening in early 2017. Their taproom offers 12 beers on draft and has the nice feature of kicking out all those under 21 at 7 o’clock. You can find Matchless across Oregon and Washington.

Today I have one of their seasonal brews that will bring me back to the warmer weather – Wave of Extinction, a summer IPA.

Wave was brewed with Citra, CTZ, Huell Melon, and Mosaic hops and has a malt profile that features Pilsner, toasted rice, and Spelt malts. A 16-ounce can cost me $8 but it comes with a solid 6.8% ABV.

This summer IPA poured a bright copper color with some nice haze to it. A moderate amount of dense white head topped it off and slowly fizzled away. Just about half a finger of foam remained, creating a small barrier between me and the beer below.

Wave of Extinction had a super dank and hoppy aroma that featured both tropical fruits and spices. There was a big whiff of black pepper spice that really popped up front while notes of mango, papaya, melon, and orange sat underneath.

My first taste began with a moderate rush of carbonation before the hops started their attack on my taste buds. It starts off with a sticky resin that coatmy tongue and a very light pepper spice but, from there, it was the exact opposite of the smell. The fruits were much more noticeable and took center stage.

Midway through juicy notes of melon, tangerine, and orange washed across my tongue. But they weren’t alone. Mango, papaya, and a hint of passion fruit peeked out at some points of the sip but mostly sat underneath the orange and melon.

As the brew began to fade there was a grapefruit peel flavor that came with a bitter twinge, the hops asserting themselves one last time before they beer departs.

Wave of Extinction ends mostly clean – finishing somewhat dry with that resinous coat remaining and leaving behind a slightly sticky feeling for a few moments.

This was a very good summer sipper though. The 6.8% ABV is unnoticeable and the flavors make this beer super sessionable. It’s the perfect brew to bring your mind back to the warmer summer weather as the temps begin their decline.

*Note: canned on 8/5/19. Opened/reviewed on 9/17/19*

The small city of Broussard, Louisiana is a suburb of Lafayette and home to one of the state’s biggest breweries, Parish. Parish Brewing has been around since 2008 and, right from the start, their wheat beer, Canebrake, was a huge hit throughout the state.

Today, they’re the second largest brewery in Louisiana and can be found in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the city of Houston, Texas.

And, while Louisianans still love their Canebrake, the rest of the nation has taken notice of a different brew from them – Ghost in the Machine…a beer that I have been trying to find for years now and finally got my hands on.

Ghost in the Machine, first released in 2014, is a double IPA brewed with Citra hops from their farm in Yakima Valley, Washington. It packs a solid punch with an 8% ABV and a single bottle cost me $8 (but I bet you can find it for less in their distribution area).

This beer was a haze bomb. It poured a massively cloudy, bright golden straw color with minimal head building up. Less than half a finger of white bubbles ever appeared, giving the top of the beer a small dusting of foam.

Ghost smelled just as juicy as it looked. A huge tangy pineapple scent led the way with accompanying notes of citrus zest (orange and grapefruit), mango, lemon, and a bit of hoppy dankness sitting behind. A light biscuity malt backing added some sweetness and balance to the beer.

My first sip started off subtle at first before the hops slowly began to creep forward. There was a light tingle of carbonation that gave way to dank citrus fruit.

Pineapple and lemon hit first, with their tart and slightly acidic flavors. From there, notes of grapefruit rind appeared and blended in nicely with the pineapple.

Midway through there was a burst of juicy orange that washed over my tongue. It completely took control of the sip and, for the next few moments, my taste buds were convinced that I was drinking OJ instead of beer.

However, as we all know, what goes up must come down. And, as the orange began to fade, the hops attacked with a late bitter bite. The bitterness was cut into some by the malts, which added a flaked wheat sweetness.

From there Ghost in the Machine fades out quickly. It ends rather cleanly, with no bitterness or flavors lingering on afterwards. The only thing left behind is a teeny tiny hint of dryness.

This was a delicious DIPA. The 8% ABV was completely hidden and, outside of that late bitter bite, it was insanely easy to drink. Ghost was chalk full of multiple tropical fruit flavors, some hoppy dankness, and a nice malt backing that adds some late sweetness.

The praise is well worth it and Ghost lived up to its hype!

*Note: bottled on 8/13/19. Opened/reviewed on 9/13/19*

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