Hailing from Charlottesville, Virginia is Three Notch’d Brewing Company. The brewery got its name from Three Notch’d Road, a historic Colonial road that can be traced back to the early 1780’s and has ties to Thomas Jefferson and the thwarting of Benedict Arnold’s treasonous acts. That original trial is less than a quarter mile from the brewery, which began operations back in August of 2013.
Today they have five locations across Virginia - Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Raleigh, Roanoke, and Virginia Beach - and offer five year-round brews along with a slew of season/limited release ones. Sadly, they currently only distribute in their home state.
On my travels through Virginia, I was able to snag a can of their Minute Man IPA, one of their five mainstay brews. Minute Man is a New England-style IPA brewed with Galaxy, Idaho 7, and Mosaic hops and has a nice 7% ABV and just 20 IBU. A pack of four, 16-ounce cans runs a very reasonable $10.50.
Pouring a bright orange, slightly copper, color with some haze to it, this beer doesn’t quite look like a typical NEIPA. There isn’t too much haze to it and, when held up to the light, you can see through it pretty well.
Roughly a finger and a half of tan, slightly white head topped the brew. The foam was rather dense and, due to the thickness of it, it fizzled away real slowly. The head laced the glass nicely as the beer disappeared from my glass; creating very visible markings after every sip that indicated my progress.
While the appearance of this brew is a little darker and not as hazy as most NEIPAs...the aroma was straight up New England-style. It’s super juicy and packed with tropical and citrus notes - orange, tangerine, grapefruit, and pineapple lead the way. There is a small backing of flaked oats/wheat and some notes of citrus rind as well but, for the most part, it has a nice and juicy scent.
It begins with some mild carbonation before the hops begin to kick in. That citrus peel from the smell hits first with some pithy bitterness that hits the back of the tongue. But quickly some more juicy and sweet flavors appear and slice into that bitter twinge.
The taste followed the aroma to a tee, as a heavy dose of juicy orange and tangerine led the way. Underneath those is a small acidic/tangy pineapple characteristic that peeks out every once in a while and overtakes the oranges for a brief moment. There are also some lighter flavors of mango and papaya that pop up occasionally throughout the pint but aren’t noticeable on every sip.
Lastly, there is a grapefruit peel flavor that hits towards the backend of the brew. It brings a slightly resinous and sticky feeling that lightly coats the tongue and is easily washed away. That grapefruit rind does add a very moderate bitterness late that lingers for a few moments after everything else has vanished.
It certainly seems like this beer has more than the 20 IBUs the can has listed but, overall, Minute Man is a juicy, easy drinking IPA. The 7% ABV is hidden well and the 16-ounces I once had in my glass vanished quickly.
Minute Man is a very solid beer worth the cost. It’s not going to blow you away but it’s a tasty beer that could easily become an everyday sipper (if only I lived in Virginia…).