Last night I reported that my dog was having dizzy spells and was taking some rough tumbles. Today things aren’t much better. Took him to the vet this morning and they couldn’t find anything physically wrong with him. The good news is that he’s in good spirits and besides occasionally looking like he’s drunk, is normal. On a separate note altogether, tonight I’m heading to a Boston Eco Tweet-up with my wife. Because I’ll be gone, I’ve lined up a guest review from Stuart. I met Stu at the Boston Craft Beer Tweet-up. He gave my wife and I a ton of great advice about what to do and what to see when we go to Vegas in August. He’s from Vegas. Although this is first formal review, my understanding is that he’s no newbie to the craft beer scene.
For my first foray into guest beer blogging, I went with the selection that merges three of five things that make me happiest in life- beer, caffeine, and California. Given my other two loves are puppies and fart jokes, a 60% success rate of happiness out a bottle is impressive, and this organic IPA is undoubtedly impressive.
Brewed by the Mendocino Brewing Company in the aptly named town of Hopland, California, MateVeza Organic India Pale Ale is their selection for the up and coming niche, the naturally caffeinated beers. Brewed with the trio of Cascade, Centennial, and Simcoe hops, organic yerba mate is added to provide the caffeine kick to this copper colored, smoothly hoppy adult beverage.
Numbers-wise, it comes in at a respectable 7.0% ABV. While on the lower side for India Pales, it still packs a nice punch; this is bolstered by the 60 milligrams of caffeine- the equivalent of a cup of tea- providing a nicely balanced kick that gently crescendos into a caramel tinged finish. Although the first few sips make you pucker from the trifecta of hops, yerba mate, carbonation, and 60 bitterness units, it settles into a very smooth, long drinking, and crisp IPA; allowing the MateVeza to warm to room temperature will reduce bitterness, and will allow the caramel malt to come through. Along with the aforementioned copper body, it presents with a light, foamy head that quickly dissipates upon a quick release of it’s carbonation.
If you are looking for a powerful beer that has a delicate balance of flavor, alcohol content, and body that the India Pales provide, but without a heavy emphasis on hoppiness, this is your beverage. While scarce on the East Coast, if you can grab some you won’t be disappointed, as it makes for a wonderfully quenching complement to any summery day, no matter the coast or occasion.