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Belt’s Beer Garden: TAAANG Son!

Spring House’s TAANG! & Westbrook Citrus Redacted

This week it’s two citrus-forward brews - a Tang (and Pop Rocks!) IPA and an Imperial IPA brewed with tangerines.

Up first, one of the most unique beer recipes I’ve come across - Spring House’s TAANG!

Spring House Brewing originally began back in 2007 in Conestoga, Pennsylvania before moving about seven miles north to its current location in Lancaster. Since the move, they have also opened two more locations, one in downtown Lancaster and another in nearby Lititz.

Today I have one of the most interesting concepts for a beer I have ever come across. When I read what all went into their brew Taang! I knew I had to snag a few cans just to try it.

Taang! is an “orange hazy IPA” brewed with citrusy hops, oranges, Tang, and orange Pop Rocks candy (how does that even work??)!! Each 16-ounce can cost $7 and has a solid 6.7% ABV. It was released on 12/24/19 and reviewed 2/20/20.

Taang! poured a super cloudy orange color with just about a finger of pure white head topping it off. There was a massive amount of sediment to this brew…both floating around and piling up at the bottom of the glass. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this much sediment in a beer before.

However, that wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying this overly orangy brew.

The aroma was tart and tangy citrus through and through. Orange and tangerine were most prevalent but there were some hints of grapefruit and pineapple underneath. The Tang was easily picked up but the Pop Rocks were a little more elusive in the aroma…can’t wait to see if they make an impression when drinking.

My first sip began with a thick, creamy mouthfeel that slowly releases the flavors. Soft notes of orange and tangerine hit first with a little zip, coming from the Tang and candy. It’s a really nice and easy-going beginning.

Midway through, the hop flavors begin to swell a little more and imparts a grapefruit rind bitterness that builds over the final half and slices into that sweet orange flavor some.

There is still a juiciness to the brew, even with the increase in hops later on. And it finishes rather cleanly - just a slight resinous feel and a dash of that bitterness linger on for a few moments.

Spring House made a good one here. Super creamy and juicy to start with plenty of citrus flavors. The hops do build over time but it’s still a very easy to drink IPA. Would’ve been cool to have the Pop Rocks popping as I drank it but, alas, science hasn’t gotten us to that point yet…maybe someday.

Either way, a very interesting concept turned into a very tasty brew.

Up next is a beer from the Palmetto State.

South Carolina is home to a slew of great breweries and Westbrook is always towards the top of that list. The Mt. Pleasant brewery has been around since 2010 and makes amazing beers for everyone’s flavor profile – from sours to IPAs to stouts, they do it all and they do it well.

Currently they are available in Alabama, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, both Carolinas, and through Tavour. However, I found a can of their Citrus Redacted on a recent trip to Nashville, Tennessee.

Citrus Redacted is an Imperial IPA brewed with Amarillo and CTZ hops and then dry hopped with Amarillo, Azacca, Citra, and Simcoe hops. Then, just for good measure, they added tangerines to make it even juicier.

This 8.5% behemoth poured a bright copper color with just a slight haze and barely over a finger of eggshell white head sitting atop the beer. The foam slowly fizzles away and laces the glass with a solid coat of bubbles as it does so.

The aroma was very fruit forward and packed full of tangerine and orange notes. The hops gave off just a bit of bitterness in the aroma while the grain profile added more sweetness and some caramel and bready notes. It was juicy, and soft, and inviting. Easily one of the lightest and juiciest Imperial IPAs I’ve ever smelled.

My first swig begins with a nice rush of carbonation that fizzles underneath and allows the flavors to appear quickly.

Up front the hops hit with a grapefruit and lemon zest as a light bitter twinge settles at the back of my tongue. After a second or two, some juicy tangerine began to appear and was able to cut into the hoppy bite some.

As the sip progresses into the second half, there is a citrus peel flavor that begins to swell. It’s mostly grapefruit rind that adds a somewhat juicy, somewhat bitter flavor you seem to get with grapefruit.

The grist adds some light bready notes that blends well with the citrus peel and round out the sip nicely. Citrus Redacted then ends mostly clean, with just a hint of boozy heat lingering in my chest and a dash of that grapefruit sitting on my tongue for a few moments after everything else.

There’s a reason Westbrook is one of South Carolina’s best breweries…every time I try one of their beers, it’s hard not to like it. This one is no different.

I wish I had access to more of their brews!!

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