This week, I start with a special brew from a brewery that’s been cranking out good beers for well over half a decade now - Anchorage Brewing.
I first saw beers from Anchorage Brewing about five years ago. They were only sold in 22-ounce bombers and all seemed to use Brett yeast that imparted a nice funk to their brews. However, as times have changed, so too has Anchorage.
Now it’s not just Brett that they are known for – they have become a well-known brewery for hazy and hoppy IPAs as well.
Today, I have one of their newer releases, Patters IPA (not to be confused with Patters Double IPA or Patterns Triple IPA). This single IPA was brewed solely with Mosaic hops and then double dry-hopped with Cryo Mosaic just to make it even smoother. Every pint has a modest 6.5% ABV and each 16-ounce can cost $6. It was packaged on 12/20/19 (reviewed 1/29/20).
Patterns poured a bright golden straw color with some light haze and a massive amount of head. Nearly three fingers of thick, fluffy foam sat atop the brew and slowly worked its way down. As it did so, there was a massive amount of lacing left behind – a thick webwork of bubbles clinging to every inch of the glass.
This beer gave off an incredibly juicy aroma that was packed with tropical fruits. Orange, tangerine, mango, and pineapple filled the air and had me salivating slightly. It had a solid grain base of flaked oats and wheat that added some nice softness and sweetness to the smell.
Starting off the sip was a brief fizzle of carbonation before the Mosaic hops began their assault. Up front there was a hint of hoppy bitterness before the citrus fruits burst through.
But, as the scent had foretold, the flavor was dominated by tangerine, orange, and grapefruit. The pineapple took a backseat, only adding some acidity midway through the sip.
The pineapple was the only thing joining the beer in the second half. As everything continued, there was a citrus rind flavor that began to build up later on and, with it, came an increasing dryness that seemed to suck the moisture out of my mouth.
The citrus peel imparted a light bitter flavor that sat at the back of my throat and was amplified by the dryness. A swig of water after every few sips was needed and quickly got rid of the dryness and lingering flavor.
Outside of the dryness, Patterns was a very tasty IPA. It had an amazing aroma and the initial juiciness of an east coast brew that showcased all the flavors of Mosaic hops. The backend was a bit dry and had some moderate bitterness to it…but IPAs should have some hoppy bite and this one was very moderate and sessionable.
It might be hard to find it outside of Alaska right now but, if you’re a fan of IPAs and living way up north, this one is certainly worth the $6.
Secondly, we’ll cross the entire county and sample a beer from Massachusetts’ South Shore.
Marshfield, Massachusetts is located about 30 miles south of Boston. The town is home to one of my favorite hockey players, Jeremy Roenick, and Stellwagen Beer Co., a relatively new brewery that opened up in July of 2018.
Stellwagen is a small batch microbrewery that specializes in hopped-up hazy IPAs and, with their location near the coast, most of their brews have some sort of nautical theme. Despite only being around for a year and a half, they have already begun to make a name for themselves across the East Coast. Sadly, you can still only find their brews in Massachusetts or through Tavour.
And when I had the opportunity to snag a can of their That’s My Boat, I made sure I didn’t miss the boat on that one. The single 16-ounce can cost me $7 but it looks like a four-pack normally runs about $17 if you’re in their small distribution area.
That’s My Boat was packaged on December 10th (reviewed on February 3rd) and is New England IPA brewed with Citra and Galaxy hops on a malt profile that features five types of grist. It has a solid 6.8% ABV and is also a nod to the iconic Forrest Gump, as you can see when you look at all of the can’s imagery.
It poured a super opaque and hazy orange/straw color with just about a finger of dense white head appearing. The creamy foam slowly vanishes, leaving just a small accumulation across the top of the beer.
The aroma is a mixture of tropical fruits and flaked oats and wheat. Leading the charge up front were pineapple, orange, and grapefruit with a hint of spice as well. Sitting just behind the hops were some soft and biscuity grain aromas that were led by flaked wheat and some oats.
It began with a quick sting of carbonation before the flaked wheat and other grains swiftly hit my taste buds with some cereal-like sweetness.
However, the hops were nipping at their heels, as shortly after flavors of pineapple, mango, and a citrus rind bitterness washed ashore and took control of the sip.
The beer had a smooth and pillowy mouthfeel that got thicker as the sip went on, which made the juicy fruit flavors seem to slowly expand and fill the entirety of my mouth.
That spice I detected in the aroma showed up near the end of the sip in the form of a light mint flavor that complimented the fruits nicely. From there, the beer finishes rather cleanly. There’s a bit of dryness but no lingering flavors or bitterness.
In a twist, That’s My Boat seemed to get even sweeter as the brew warmed up. When I was about halfway through the pint, a sweet vanilla flavor appeared alongside the tropical fruits and really seemed to shine in on the backend of each sip.
Overall, this was a really tasty NE IPA. Flavorful, crushable, and just really enjoyable. It’s no wonder Stellwagen has beer enthusiasts coming from all over to try their brews.