Tonight’s guest reviewer, Bryan Roth, is a beer nerd and homebrewer living in Durham, North Carolina. You can read his thoughts on beer and the beer industry on his blog, This Is Why I’m Drunk, and send him suggestions on how to get his wife to drink craft beer via Twitter at @bryandroth.
In the old days of Egypt, alchemy was practiced by brilliant scientists working to turn lead into gold or even trying to create the elixir of life. In the 17th and 18th centuries, alchemy was used in the Western world to develop ideas of chemistry and medicine.
Despite the difference in time, four aspects connected the alchemists from days of yore to … lesser days of yore: magic, religion, spirituality and mythology. Sure as hell sounds like a beer to me, which is made up of four pretty important things, too: malt, hops, yeast and water.
Or, at least, it’s what I can only assume the “alchemists” at Great Lakes Brewing were thinking when they were concocting their Alchemy Hour Double IPA. They say it’s related to “Alchemy Hour” of dawn – the time of day for the perfect surfing waves – but then what’s with all the funky writing on the bottle’s label?
Tricky ones, those brewers/mad scientists.
This monster of a brew is brought to life with Mosaic hops, the cool, new kid in town born from a loving relationship between farmers and Simcoe hops, a classic West Coast hop known for its aromas of citrus and tropical fruit. Mosaic’s relationship to Simcoe is fitting, as it provides Alchemy Hour with tons of dank and resinous aromas of peach, mango, pineapple and whatever kind of tropical fruit you want.
There’s some tart grapefruit and rosemary just for good measure. Nugget and Cascade hops help a little.
You’ll find much of the same from this beer’s flavor, which charges into battle with your taste buds wielding pitchforks of apricot, pineapple and candied mango. If you’re patient enough to let this one sit in your glass for 10 to 15 minutes, caramel malt will add a nice bready base to fight off some of the hop flavor and lingering bitterness from each sip.