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Belt’s Beer Garden: Mission to Mars

Mars, PA is home to Stick City Brewing who made Dry Fly|Midge, a delightfully tasty IPA

Mankind has set their sights on Mars for some time now. And while *some* are looking to the sky for it, us beer geeks are looking at Pennsylvania.

Mars, Pennsylvania, a small borough of 1,700 people, sits about 25 miles north of Pittsburgh and is the home of Stick City Brewing. The family-owned brewery features the Eastern Hemlock tree (the state tree of Pennsylvania) as their logo and has a core belief of making their local community, and the world, a better place. It’s why they are a member of 1% for the Planet and donate AT LEAST 1% of all profits to environmental non-profit organizations.

Today I have their Dry Fly|Midge - a Double IPA named after the small midge fly that is used to lure trout up to the surface. Brewed with barley, oats, and a combination of Strata and two other unnamed hops, Dry Fly features a solid 8% ABV. It was on the pricier side, with a single can costing $8, but from everything I’ve heard about these guys, it’ll be well worth it.

Midge poured a cloudy golden straw color with some burnt orange hues appearing in the middle. About a finger of eggshell white head topped it off but quickly fizzled down to a thin ring around the edge of the glass, with some solid lines of lacing ringing the glass on the way down.

The aroma was tropical and juicy with massive notes of strawberry, melon, and peach leading the way. Some earthier notes of grass, pine, and herbs sit behind the fruit. Finally there is a flaked oat grain quality that sits quietly underneath and brings it all together. Each sip began with a slightly creamier and thicker mouthfeel that thinned out after a moment or two. The flavors immediately began to crash down, with big notes of fruit slamming my taste buds.

It was the peach that led the way with some super juicy characteristics hitting first. The berry flavor appeared second, joining in with a big pop of strawberry almost immediately after. The honeydew melon that was in the aroma was more hidden in the taste, with it peeking out here and there but being very inconsistent. After a brief moment of fruit domination, the earthier hop qualities began to slowly appear. It was a combination of sage, pine, and a slightly resinous lemongrass that kicked the tropical flavors down a notch.

The secondary flavors do bring a slight hop twinge to the brew, just a quick reminder that this is a Double IPA. But it quickly fades when a brief appearance by the oats and barley adds some cereal-like notes. From there, the brew finishes wonderfully clean. There is a somewhat sticky residue that leaves a hoppy strawberry flavor on the tongue for a few moments. But, other than that, there is no lingering dryness or aftertaste to this Double IPA.

Overall, Dry Fly was insanely smooth and crushable. The flavors would pop for a brief second before fading out and allowing the next wave to hit. There was no real bitterness, just that small hop tingle midway through, and all the flavors all blended together quite nicely. It was a very sessionable DIPA and worth the $8 I paid for the single can. My first visit to Stick City beer was a delightful one and I cannot wait to find more of their stuff.

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