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Belt’s Beer Garden: Dual Threat

Masthead’s Duality: Citra + Idaho 7 - a hazy IPA with a pair of amazing hops

Masthead Brewing, one of Cleveland’s best breweries you might not know about, just hit a milestone. In early February they celebrated their sixth year of serving Ohioians great brews. They are in the heart of downtown - just a three minute drive from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - and their building actually sits on the National Register of Historic Places. Their 300 seat taproom was originally built in 1921 and features a 100-foot bartop in addition to their spacious patio with great views.

It was initially some friends at Hustlebelt that sent me my first Masthead beer and I quickly learned just how tasty their brews can be. And now, whenever I see their stuff, I know I have to try it.

I snagged a beer from one of their IPA series, Duality, and couldn’t wait to crack it open.

Duality is a New England IPA series that features a rotating hop bill that showcases two different hops. Today, I crack open a can of their Citra & Idaho 7 hopped Duality. The 16-ounce can has a very solid 8.3% ABV and was hopped exclusively with Citra and Idaho 7…two of my favorite hops.

It poured a muddled golden straw color and was completely opaque. A small amount of bright white head built atop the beer but it never got more than a finger high. And the foam was quick to disappear, fading into a thin ring almost immediately. It left some lacing but, overall, not too many bubbles clung to the side of the glass.

The aroma is quite tropical and juicy with tangerine, mango, and pineapple leading the way. There is a hint of dankness and some earthy, more resinous notes hiding underneath the fruit. And, while the hops shine for the most part, there is a nice grist backing of flaked wheat/oats that add a slight cereal-like quality to the smell.

My first sip began with a nice rush of carbonation. The fizzle perked up my taste buds and allowed for the juicy hop flavors to wash over them. As the aroma had foretold, the leading flavor was a huge splash of tangerine and mango. The tropical fruit duo really controlled the entirety of it all, only allowing other characteristics to peek out every so often.

One of those flavors that would occasionally sneak into the taste was a slightly acidic tingle of pineapple. Another was a nice pop of grapefruit, which was juicy but also brought forward that pithy resinous quality from the aroma. Finally, some light peach, nectarine, and a dash of honeydew melon could be detected at points throughout my pint

Duality finishes insanely clean, with that mango/tangerine combination finishing off the sip and then vanishing completely. The grapefruit resin was washed away much earlier in the sip and there was no lingering bitterness or aftertaste. A very clean and crushable 8.3% brew.

I’m quickly learning why all my friends in Ohio love Masthead…they make damn good beers. And this series is definitely one of the great ones. If you find this hop combo, it’s a must buy.

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