The Seed: A Living Beer Project opened their doors in Atlantic City, NJ back in October of 2017. They call themselves “a living beer project” because they are exactly that: “a living, dynamic, ever changing exploration into the convergence of indigenous ingredients, local agriculture, and fermentation” that honors both art and science with their beers.
A friend of mine from New Jersey told me that I needed to try these and was kind enough to send me a can of theirs just to show me what I was missing. He gifted me a 16-ounce can of their A Light in the Black, a West Coast IPA.
A Light in the Black was brewed with Amarillo, Columbus, and Simcoe hops as a nostalgic throwback to the West Coast IPAs of old. It features a solid 6.6% ABV and was canned on April 22nd.
It poured a golden straw color with about two fingers of fluffy off-white head building upwards. The foam shrank down to a small ring around the edge of the glass with a razor thin layer covering the top of the liquid below.
A sticky sweet hop resin led off the aroma, with notes of orange, grapefruit rind, and some light pine leading the way. Overall it was a soft and subtle scent which gave off hints that it would be a bit heavier when drinking.
My first swig started with a light rush of carbonation that pricked up my taste buds for the flavors to come. And, once again, leading the way were those pithy orange and grapefruit notes with a slight bite of hoppy bitterness.
Following that early bitterness was a big burst of juicy oranges and citrus. The sweetness cut into the early hop sting and eliminated almost all of the bitter bite.
However, around the midway point, the hops turned from citrus to earthy - with some resinous pine flavors starting to appear, bringing back a low-level bitter twinge.
On the backend that pine continued, with one final pop of citrus peel peeking through, before the flavors began to fade away.
A Light in the Black finished quite cleanly, with just a hint of dryness and a sticky resinous feeling lingering around for a few moments longer.
It was a very nice throwback to the West Coast days of old but with some modern elements that made it much more palatable and enjoyable. The hops were present in both the aroma and flavor, without being overly bitter or strong. And the flavors had a nice combination of earthy pine and sweeter citrus. I could sip on this beer all day long.
I can already tell that I’m going to need to try more beers from The Seed…these guys are good.