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Belt’s Beer Garden: Gauging the Situation

Narrow Gauge’s Double Dry Hopped Fallen Flag - a hazy IPA with an extra dose of Citra and Mosaic hops

Narrow Gauge Brewing hails from suburban St. Louis and is located in Florissant, Missouri, about 20 miles north of the city center. Despite opening in the summer of 2016, they don’t have a taproom quite yet but they do have a new retail shop so you can pick up beers at the brewery.

I had never seen or had any of their brews before so, when I had the chance to snag a few cans of their Double Dry Hopped Fallen Flag, I didn’t hesitate.

Fallen Flag is their staple IPA brewed with Citra, Columbus, and Mosaic hops and features a solid 7% ABV. For this variant, they took their base brew and pumped up the hops with an additional dose of Citra and Mosaic hops added in. It still has the same ABV but the IBU rating dropped a bit, down to 50. Not being near Missouri, each can was $7 for me but if you’re in their distribution range, a four pack is around $20.

DDH Fallen Flag poured a bright orange color with some nice cloudiness to it. There was a nice build up of head, as about two fingers of pure white foam topped off the beer. The thin bubbles quickly dispersed, leaving minimal lacing and a small accumulation around the edge of the glass.

The aroma was pure juice. It was sweet and tropical with notes of pineapple, mango, tangerine, and berries. The flaked oats and grains offered up some cereal qualities and helped balance out the sweetness some.

Each sip begins with a hefty fizzle of carbonation and the flavors slowly begin to build from there. They start off rather subtle but it’s the tangerine and mango that are the first to become noticeable. A light berry quality begins to appear as well, with notes of strawberry and blueberry being most prevalent.

Then, after a few moments, there is a spike. A bitter twinge erupts and brings forth pithy notes of grapefruit and some light pineapple. The hops quickly turn dank, offering up some herbal and resinous notes briefly before the tropical and citrus qualities recapture the lead.

From there, the flavors of DDH Fallen Flag slowly begin to fade out. Remaining behind is a slightly dry, resinous grapefruit peel flavor and a touch of berry.

The body is lighter than most hazies and that makes it a bit easier to put down. There was no heaviness preventing me from going back for more sips almost immediately…which, of course, I did.

It’s a very solid, easy to drink beer but it’s not going to knock your socks off with its flavors. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good…very good. But it’s just that - a standard, but well-made, hazy.

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