On the outskirts of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the state capital, is the borough of Camp Hill. And sitting just a few miles from the Susquehanna River in Camp Hill is Ever Grain Brewing. Ever Grain opened their doors back in 2016 and has a massive 10,000 square foot taproom, complete with a 75-foot bar and 20 taps, all connected to their 20 hectolitre brewhouse.
I have only heard good things about them but was never able to find one of their beers until a few days ago. And I found the perfect beer for the holiday season - Missile Toad.
Missile Toad is a hazy Triple IPA brewed with Galaxy and Mosaic hops. It clocks in at a massive 10.5% ABV and is rather affordable, costing me about $6 for the 16-ounce can.
This holiday sipper poured a cloudy, bur bright, orange color with a bit of straw coloring in there to mute it some. Just under two fingers of dense head topped the beer off. The foam stuck around a bit longer than usual, like your relatives are going to do this weekend. But, as the bubbles faded away, they created a very nice lattice of lacing. Nearly all the glass was coated in a thin layer of bubbles and each sip I had was broken up by a hefty ring around the edge.
The aroma was incredibly juicy with some hoppier dank and earthy notes sitting underneath. There was a ton of citrus - like tangerine and grapefruit - and a heavy dose of tropical and stone fruit as well, with big mango, pineapple, and peach qualities coming through. It was quite dank as well and, underneath the hops, you could pick up a bit of those flaked wheat and oats.
Each swig begins with a soft and creamy mouthfeel. There is an early harshness, a combination of hoppy bitterness and booze, that threw me off initially. However, after a split second that twinge is completely erased and the beer is very, very enjoyable.
First up is a pithy grapefruit peel flavor, that comes out of that early bitter bite, but it is quickly complimented by juicy mango and pineapple characteristics that quell the sting. The tangerine joins the party after another second or two and kicks up the juiciness of the brew.
Every so often you’ll get a sip that has a sweeter pop of cereal from the grist but it doesn’t occur on every sip…just when it feels like it. The grains balance out the beer nicely but mostly stay underneath the radar.
On the backend, that bitterness spikes back up again with more citrus rind flavors - orange and grapefruit - and a bit of a resinous feeling. However, this late hitting citrus peel is much softer and juicier than that initial one…although there is still a hoppy bite.
Missile Toad goes on to finish rather cleanly, with just a looooong lingering grapefruit rind aftertaste ending things. It’s a very clean finish for a TIPA.
This brew hits hard. Maybe it’s because it was so tasty that I drank it faster than I should have…but halfway through it and that 10.5% ABV was already hitting me. It’s a great beer for family functions over the holidays…you don’t need much to feel it and it tastes great. Bit on the bitter side, but it is a Triple IPA after all, so that’s to be expected.