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Belt's Beer Garden: Crime Free

Beer Drinking is Not a Crime, a hazy Double IPA From Aslin Beer

Nestled on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., just a few miles from Dulles Airport, is Aslin Beer Company.

The Herndon, Virginia brewery began back in 2015 but has since exploded into one of the nation’s best breweries. Aslin even has four different taprooms now - their OG one, another in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, a third in Washington, D.C., and a fourth location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Today I have one of their hazier brews with a great name. Beer Drinking is Not a Crime. This DDH Double IPA brewed with Citra and Nelson Sauvin hops. It features a solid 8.5% ABV and a four pack will run you about $20 at a store, or $6 for an individual 16-ounce can.

Pouring a murky and darker straw color, this DDH DIPA had barely a finger of head build up. The eggshell white foam quickly fizzled away into a thin accumulation around the edge of the glass and nothing else. And as I began to drink the beer down, there was also very little lacing left by the narrow line of bubbles.

The aroma was a mixture of grist and hops, with a slight lean towards the hoppier side. Citrus fruits, such as tangerine and grapefruit rind, were most prevalent but there were also some lighter notes of berries, grapes, and some earthier notes. The malt backing offered up some caramel and flaked grain breadiness that added an additional sweetness to the brew. There was also a yeasty ester to the brew that added a light bubblegum quality.

My first sip had me unsure what to think, so I had to go back for more. It was quite an interesting brew that didn’t really drink like it smelled.

Coming out of those Nelson hops, a white wine grape flavor appeared first with a bubbly effervescence. Blending in with those brut-like qualities were some of the citrus fruits - mostly a juicy tangerine burst that gave off a slightly mimosa-esque quality up front.

After a moment or two the juicy orange flavor had taken hold of the sip and continued on for a nice while. At the midway point, the pithy grapefruit peel characteristic slowly began to creep forward and challenge the tangerine. Joining that was a small resinous feeling that added just a touch of dryness to the back half of the sip.

That yeasty quality also made an appearance right alongside the grapefruit. It added some light bubblegum notes and a bit of banana funkiness that lingered underneath for a few moments longer than the other flavors lasted.

Finally, on the backend, there was also a bit of a hoppy bitter twinge that spiked for a second before quickly falling back underneath the grapefruit and banana flavors. Outside of the lasting pithiness, Beer Drinking is Not a Crime ended rather cleanly and hid the 8.5% ABV quite well.

It was a solid hazy DIPA that started off great but didn’t finish that way. Maybe it was just this batch or my can but the yeasty and slightly hoppy finish was a bit much for me. Would try it again if I get the chance just to see if it changes.

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