The Tap Bitter Rival

The Tap Bitter Rival

I’m just getting home from a long weekend trip to Martha’s Vineyard. It was a good trip, albeit too short. We got to spend some time bar hopping, trying out restaurants and managed to hit the beach for a few hours. We also got a chance to see The Zoo, a band we used to see all the time about 10 years ago. What a blast from the past! Oh, and I took a trip to Offshore Ale Co. and chatted with head brewer Neil Atkins as well as his assistant brewer Jay. Later this week I’ll post details and photos from the brewery visit.

After a weekend of drinking on the island, I’m frankly in dire need of a break from beer. Nevertheless, I have a fridge that is overflowing with beer which must be reviewed. Thus, in my glass right now is The Tap Bitter Rival. This is a west coast style IPA that is labeled as “Liquid Brutality”. At least the folks at The Tap are being honest in their marketing; this is clearly intended for only the most serious hop-heads.

It’s probably worth mentioning that the beer isn’t as fresh as it should be. I bought it roughly a month ago, and surely the hop profile has been muted with some time. That said, it’s nowhere near the most bitter beer I’ve had and there is no way some brief aging is the cause. Yes, with it’s sharp piney flavor, there is no doubt it’s a west coast style beer. But, like I said, it’s not puckeringly hoppy. Although I wouldn’t call it balanced, it isn’t so hoppy that it’s astringent/unenjoyable.

While I probably wouldn’t get it again (too hoppy for me), I’d totally recommend it to anyone who likes the west coast IPA style.


Author: Joshua Dion

I write about beer in an un-intimidating way, welcoming beer lovers of all experience levels.