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Belt’s Beer Garden: All Natural

Natural Bridge from Kentucky’s Dreaming Creek Brewery

Dreaming Creek Brewery is located in Richmond, Kentucky (about 25 miles south of Lexington) and just celebrated their 3rd anniversary back in April.

A common theme from Dreaming Creek is to name IPAs after state parks in Kentucky. So far there have been five state park beers with more to come soon, I’m sure.

Today I have their Natural Bridge IPA, named after Natural Bridge State Park which is just about 45 miles east of the brewery. It’s their flagship IPA and hopped solely with Amarillo hops. The beer features a 6.7% ABV and 60 IBU with a four-pack running about $14.

Pouring a slightly translucent deep copper color, this IPA never had two fingers of slightly tan head build up. The foam slowly dwindled down to a small accumulation around the edge of the glass with some decent lacing marking its progress.

On the nose, this IPA was balanced and old school. It was packed with notes of caramel and bread from the malt profile while the hops added some citrusy and earthy/floral characteristics underneath - mostly pine, lemon, and grapefruit.

My first sip started very crisp and clean, with just a quick hum of hops and carbonation flashing across my tongue. As the flavors slowly began to crawl forward, I was first hit with those citrusy notes.

Up front it was a combination of grapefruit rind, lemon, and orange zest before the hops slowly turned more earthy as the sip progressed. A lighter pine taste, along with some sweeter floral notes, began to appear after a few seconds.

Midway through the sip, the grist added just a touch of caramel and breadiness to the flavor. The malt wasn’t nearly as noticeable in the flavor as it was when smelling the beer but, regardless, it did a great job of balancing out the hops and eliminating most of the bitterness.

Natural Bridge ended really cleanly. There was a small aftertaste of biscuits and caramel malt and a touch of grapefruit resin that left a clingy resinous feeling across my tongue but, outside of that, it was a quick finish.

If you’re a bit tired of all those hazy, lactose-laden IPAs that saturate the market right now, this is a great throwback IPA. It’s a balanced attack of hops and malts that results in a classic flavored brew but without a high level of bitterness.

A well made brew from Dreaming Creek that I hope to get my hands on again.

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