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Belt’s Beer Garden: Take Me Home, Country Roads

I finally get my hands on a beer from West Virginia!!!

From the beginning I have wanted to review a beer from every state in the US but, for the longest time, I have been stuck at 49 states. Well today, after 600+ beers and nearly seven years, I finally finish off the map and review a beer from the 50th and final state - West Virginia.

I had never tried a beer, let alone SEEN a beer, from West Virginia before...so, on my way back from the NIU-Georgia Tech game in Atlanta two weeks ago, I took the long way home and spent the night in Huntington, West Virginia just so I could finally get my hands on some great beer from the Mountain State.

As a history lover, there was one six pack that caught my eye immediately - Greenbrier Valley’s Devil Anse IPA.

Greenbrier Valley is located in Maxwelton, West Virginia, an unincorporated community in the southeastern portion of the state near the Virginia border right off of I-64. They live by their motto - “Get Out. Explore. Bring Beer.” - and remaining environmentally friendly in both the production and distribution of their brews.

Devil Anse gets its name from the famous Hatfield-McCoy feud that lasted nearly 30 years (1863-1891) between two families that spanned the border between West Virginia and Kentucky. This IPA was named after William “Devil Anse” Hatfield, who was from West Virginia, and led the Hatfield clan.

Devil Anse features Amarillo, Citra, Columbus, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops along with a grist profile of Crystal and 2-Row malt. It has a 6.9% ABV and 71 IBUs and a six-pack costs about $13.

[note: GVBC also makes Ole Ran’l, a pilsner named after Randolph McCoy, the leader of the Kentucky-native McCoys...but today is all about West Virginia]

The beer poured a slightly copper color with a lighter golden hue when held up to the light. About two fingers of dense, off-white foam topped the liquid below. As it fizzled away the head left some decent lacing down the side of the glass.

On the nose, there was a sweeter aroma of malt, with caramel and a light bready characteristic dominating the scent. The hops added notes of citrus and pine, with lemon, grapefruit, and tangerine being the most dominant. It was a really well balanced IPA and seemed very light and crushable from the smell.

A small carbonation fizz started off the sip before the flavors really kicked in. And, just as the aroma had foretold, this IPA was very well balanced.

Up front it was those same sweeter notes of caramel and biscuits leading the way. However, following closely behind were the fruity hop flavors.

Grapefruit peel and lemon zest really began to swell up and take over the sip. And, joining them midway through, was a hoppy bitterness that lingered underneath.

There was a pinch of orange/tangerine towards the backend but, mostly this beer was controlled by the caramel up front and the citrus rind after that. The finish was rather clean but did have a light biter twinge and a long lasting dryness that clung to my tongue.

Devil Anse sat a bit heavier than I thought it would but it was still a very crushable IPA. The 71 IBU was somewhat noticeable, mostly on the aftertaste, but, all-in-all, it had a very moderate bitterness and was very easy to drink. And that 6.7% alcohol content was hidden really well too.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - it’s so nice and refreshing to have those “old school” IPAs...the ones that don’t include lactose or fruits. If you’re a fan of hoppy, yet balanced, IPAs that lean more West Coast than New England, this will be right up your alley.

It lets the hops shine while still being very balanced from the more noticeable malt bill. A very enjoyable IPA that I can’t wait to have again.

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