Captain Lawrence Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA

August 6, 2008

8% ABV from a growler

Necessity is the mother of all invention. Especially when it comes to getting drunk. No, I’m not talking about taking the only three items left in your fridge (soy sauce, Jagermeister, root beer) and inventing a new cocktail (The MSGager Barq Bomb*), I’m talking about something completely different. Whether prison wine, moonshine during prohibition, or a bottle of Scope when your children are so concerned about daddy that they’ve poured his bourbon down the drain (damn you brats!), humans have always found a way to get drunk under the most tricky of circumstances. Take the India Pale Ale, the IPA, for one. I think a lot of amateur drinkers are scared by the exotic, “foreign” name of it. I know I used to be. But you shouldn’t fret. IPAs are a delicious form of incredibly hopped and alcoholic beer. A splendid combo.  And, they have nothing to do with curry, tiki masala, or Ghandi.

The name comes from back in the 18th century when the British were faced with a terrible conundrum: how to keep beer fresh on long shipping voyages. Specifically, how could the British East India Company keep their beloved porters and ales from spoiling during the months-long journeys to India where relocated British expats and soldiers demanded fresh beer. Due to the extreme conditions of shipping, beers were arriving flat and sour. Thus, a solution was needed and it came in the form of most certain genius George Hodgson.  He figured out that if tons of hops and alcohol were added to beer, an unfriendly environment would be created that was adept at fending off microbes and bacteria and thus spoilage. These beers were able to store for lengthy periods without going bad. And they tasted fucking delicious too.

Even sweeter, since us Americans rightly think anything bigger is better, we decided to up the ante and create double IPAs which typically have 50% more malt and 100% more hops. We’ve essentially created something overpowering out of something that was already created to be overpowering.  Awesome.  Like adding bacon to a double-cheeseburger.  The double IPA is definitely one of my favorite styles of beer.

Thus, upon my trip up to the Captain Lawrence brewery to snag the rare Cuvee de Castleton bottles, I brought along my empty growler, and, when faced with the seemingly difficult decision of what to fill it with, there was no struggle–I knew I would be honored to try their DIPA for the first time.

I could barely contain myself and wanted to start slugging from the growler on the train ride back. I didn’t though and waited til I was safely in my apartment. A brilliant smell hit me the second I unscrewed the growler’s cap. And, once poured into a glass the fragrance truly came to life. Unbelievably hoppy, woody, and floral. The girl I was with–no, not a prostitute–thought it smelled like a fresh sack of high-end weed, and she was kinda right. But don’t consider that a negative. The taste was amazing. Tons of hops, with lots of citrus flavors, and a nice little amount of sweetness. So damn tasty I wanted to tilt the growler back and just chug from it as if I was some sort of high-brow frat boy. And, indeed, this is one highly drinkable DIPA as the alcohol is quite masked, you don’t really feel it until it hits the back of your throat, massaging your mouth for quite a while after each sip.

I suppose there’s nothing truly unique or unconventional about this beer, which is kinda strange since Captain Lawrence is known for their unconventionality. But it’s hard to lodge such a petty complaint when this is such a quality brew. A pretty flawless IPA, maybe the best east coast version I’ve ever had. I really have nothing to criticize about it other than to say I really wish Captain Lawrence bottled their beers so I could have this in my home at all times.


*© ® ™ The Vice Blog 2008 patent pending


Captain Lawrence Cuvee de Castleton (2nd batch, 2008)

July 29, 2008


No ABV listed but purpoted to be 6%

Throughout my entire childhood I was a collector extraordinaire. Baseball cards, comic books, Pez dispensers, action figures, celebrity autographs, movie paraphernalia, Wheaties boxes, vinyls, and things so much more nerdier that even I am ashamed to discuss them. Or, have repressed them from my memory as if they had sexually abused me (pogs anyone?). I went to card and comic shows, flea markets, garage sales, auctions, and autograph signings to procure my minor treasures, usually accompanied by my father or a fellow nerdy collecting buddy. Eventually, I got bored with amassing shit as I moved into my teens and more interesting and loftier pursuits entered my frame of reference. And, I thought I’d pretty much given up collecting for good around age 15 or so when I virginally realized that I didn’t want to ever bring a girl back to a bedroom filled with displayed Starting Lineups and Spawn comic books. I was wrong.

I am very much still a collector. I am very much still a nerd. I am a beer collecting nerd. I came to this eureka moment in a most startling and sudden manner this previous weekend.

The weekend saw the release of Captain Lawrence’s exceedingly rare (only 840 bottles released per annum) and highly acclaimed (a perfect score on Rate Beer) Cuvee de Castleton. I could not find a single person to go with to the brewery, but that wouldn’t stop me, I knew I had to make the 38 minute train trek upstate by myself. My readers and my taste buds deserved it. Also, this beer could only be purchased on site. I’m always up for an adventure and this was going to be my first time entering the world of true beer freaks. I expected a scene, but I was totally blown away by what I was to witness.

The release was at high noon and based on the buzz on beer forums and messageboards (yes, these exist) I speculated if I got there between 10:30 and 11 AM I should be in fine shape. Stupidly, I went out and drank hard on Friday night, not being tucked into bed til 5 AM or so. Back up at 8:30 I threw on some dirty clothes and my hangover shades and hustled to Grand Central, catching a 9:30ish train off the isle. Of course, fucking Metro-North was delayed but I still pulled into Pleasantville, New York around 10:50. The Captain Lawrence website claims the brewery is only 8 city blocks from the station, but I got incredibly lost, proving that either I was still very drunk or am very much a retard. However, I opt for option C and will claim that the Pleasantville locals are retarded as every single person I passed gave me conflicting directions. People! One of the finest breweries in all of North America is in your tiny hamlet and you don’t know where it is?! Good lord, it is your town’s greatest treasure.

Any how, after probably walking on every single inch of sidewalk in Pleasantville and the surrounding towns, after considering hitchhiking and praying for the only cab for surely hundreds of miles around to pass by me, I finally stumbled upon the right path, sweating pure grain alcohol and fried bar foods from my pores as I sauntered into the Captain Lawrence parking lot at 11:59, just as brewmaster Scott Vaccaro arrived, the doors were opened, and the beer was released to the public. I was well in the back of the line and probably looked and smelled homeless–though I didn’t hear anyone clever enough to quip, “Hey buddy, this isn’t a special release party for Cuvee de Mad Dog 20/20, hehe.”–but I nevertheless tried to schmooze up the people around me.

Always anxious to learn things I don’t know, to pick the minds of strangers, I started talking to the guy right behind me in line. He looked normal–nice clothes, a smart haircut, claimed he had come up from Brooklyn–but he was an unbelievable dork. It was like trying to talk to a fucking MIT doctoral candidate. I’m not sure if he knew more about beer than me, but he was using all sorts of unnecessary esoteric terms, treating beer as if it wasn’t some pleasure to be consumed and enjoyed and used to stimulate female loins but rather some public policy initiative to filibuster about. He also kept mentioning his “girlfriend.” People that find a reason to constantly mention their “girlfriend” unprovoked and apropos of nothing–“Wow, the weather’s sure nice today, just like my girlfriend said it would be.”–usually haven’t had carnal knowledge of a female in years. And, in fact, out of the hundreds and hundreds of people camped outside the brewery, the only three members of the fairer sex I saw were one obese chick who had been dragged along (wheelbarrowed along?) by her boyfriend, and two cute little girls that had been brought with their no-doubt-deservedly divorced father. (I was quite curious whether those girls would be allowed to purchase any bottles as each person was only permitted to buy four maximum.)

I couldn’t even converse with this nerdy little twit behind me, as he was doing all the talking, pontificating, droning on about beer as if he was trying to hypnotize me. I finally reached my last straw when we were each handed a tiny sample of some other brew. You see, it was a convivial atmosphere in line, with people all across the northeast converging at Captain Lawrence, most folks bringing along a bottle or two of interesting and semi-rare beers from their neck of the woods in order to share with those unable to get the stuff in their own areas. My nerdy cohort and I were lucky enough to be handed a few plastic cupped ounces of Ithaca TEN, a rare brew I’d been wanting to try for a while. I cheersed the man who gave me the free tasting and quickly gulped it down. Indeed it was tasty. That whole process took me, oh, about 45 seconds, you know, like a normal human being. After dispatching of my drink I looked next to me to see that the nerd had been hovering with his nose above the beer–eyes sensuously closed and erotically fluttering, natch–for the entirety of the previous minute, looking as if on the verge of passing out from carbon monoxide poisoning. Then, with an unannounced but quite ceremonious fury, my man ferociously sniffed, nay snorted, the fumes of the strong beer as if he was trying to double-barrel some coke so viciously that it would instantly go up his nasal cavity and explode his brain to smithereens. As you can imagine, the additional processes he went through in order to finish and fully enjoy the ounce or so of beer took several more minutes. I cannot imagine going out drinking with this bloke and his “girlfriend.”

He was the paradigm of the kind of beers snobs I hate, and others like him were all around me. At this point, I decided to give up on talking to people, just hoping to quickly nab my rare beers and get some free samples in me as the previous night’s drunkenness was wearing off and the delirium tremens were sneaking up. The line was moving slowly, however, and I couldn’t help but observe the other anxious tipplers around me. The dorks around me. Fat, poorly dressed, hirsute, goofy, and annoying. Just like the populous of any sort of convention where a small coterie of like-minded collectors gather. Later, I would actually hear one man to say his friend as they first sipped the Cuvee, “Dude, we are livin’ la vida loca.” Swear to God.

I’m not sure if beer is enough of a social lubricant for these people. I suppose beer can lubricate one enough to give them the courage to speak, but never enough to make one say things interesting. Or normal. I looked at these people with disdain. How can we share the same interests I wondered?!

Then, I did what I always do when around a freak show alone, I texted a friend to share in my hilarious misery.

AARON: “people that go to special beer release parties are the biggest nerds in the world. seriously.”

FRIEND: “are they dressed in beer costumes? real nerds always wear costumes.”

She was just making a joke, but she didn’t realize how prescient she actually was. I smirked and then looked up to realize that, yes!, everyone was in costume. Every dork in line proudly wore a crusty old XXXXL t-shirt celebrating their favorite beer or brewery. Hats commemorating beer festivals they’d been too. And, each nerd had brought along a favorite beer drinking vessel in order to have their first tastes of the Cuvee de Castleton. Yeah, it wasn’t as bad as dressing like Hermione, or Geordi La Forge, or fucking Captain America, but it was still a goddamn costume.

It was then, as I was in my fifteenth minute or so of queueing*, that I realized waiting in line for a rare beer wasn’t that much different than waiting in line for Ozzie Smith to not look up at you as he quickly scribbles his 5th grade penmanship autograph on an official MLB baseball for $20. It hit me, my God!, I’m like the John Cusack character in “High Fidelity,” who may be kinda handsome and put together, who may attract sexy women and get laid, but who nevertheless is as much of a geek as the loner weirdos that shop at the record store he owns!:

“I get by because of the people who make a special effort to shop here–mostly young men–who spend all their time looking for deleted Smith singles and original, not rereleased–underlined–Frank Zappa albums. I’d feel guilty taking their money, if I wasn’t…well…kinda one of them.” (“High Fidelity” 2000)

It all made sense now.

I came to an upsetting realization: normal people must look at me with the same disdain as I was looking down on these nerds! To an outsider I was indistinguishable from these cretins!

Aw, fuck it, I wasn’t “one of them.” I was much cooler than all these people. I may not be George Clooney, but goddamn I was still a different species from these Trekker types.

By 12:45, and just a few minutes before the beer was sold-out completely, I had my maximum four bottles, I had a refilled growler of their double IPA, I had a free sample or two in my belly, and I had glanced at a train schedule to realize I had just 4 minutes to sprint back to the station and get the fuck out of Dodge. With fifty pounds of glass and beer clanging in bags draped over my chest, I flip-flop sprinted back as hard as could. I must have looked the part of the consummate Vice Blogger on my ride home as I hogged three seats across with several hundred ounces of beer on me, a cigar protruding from the front pocket of my Polo begging to be smoked, all as I cavalierly read from the latest issue of “Playboy.”

I’m not sure if I can handle going to one of these nerd beer conventions again. It really held a mirror up to myself that scared me, that made me question who I am as a man, that busted my self-confidence in two, that made me think I should grow a sloppy beard and talk about original gravities, wort, and diacetyl all day.

Oh, who am I kidding?! The second another limited release comes out I’ll be up at Captain Lawrence or some other regional brewery dorking out, no doubt scorned by the others after everyone has read this anti-beer-nerd missive.

But let’s get down to brass tacks. How does this magical beer taste? It is surely one of the most limited released beers in America, and certainly the rarest brew I’ve ever had (compare to the 12K bi-yearly release of Utopias).

Captain Lawrence compares it to a champagne and they aren’t lying. I popped the top and it nearly exploded, ejaculations of foamy whiteness coming from the bottle like I was celebrating New Year’s. It pours fizzier than any beer I’ve ever seen before. On the label it is described thusly as a “…combination of Belgian style ale which has been re-fermented with hand picked Muscat grapes & aged in wine barrels. As the beer ages in the oak it undergoes a secondary fermentation using the wild yeast known as Brettanomyces.”

Cuvee de Castleton smells very much like a champagne and tastes like it too. Upon my first small sip, I almost retracted my tongue, I was so surprised by the intense tartness as this is the first wild ale I’ve ever had before. Definitely the most non-beer-tasting beer I’ve ever had as well. Even more so than Utopias. This really has nothing that really grounds it to being a beer except for the slight Belgian Ale of it. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Very carbonated, some good bite. You smell and taste white grapes and some spice too. Lemons and green sour apples. You’d have a hard time convincing a lot of people that this is actually beer though.

The sourness nails you at first so don’t give up on this beer after the first sip. It takes a while to figure out this brew’s brilliance. Luckily I got 4 bottles**, two of which I am making my first attempts at cellaring, which should actually make the beer even more sour Captain Lawrence claims.

Due to the tartness you have to drink it slowly, but that’s a good thing as it helps you absorb it better. I don’t think any one besides me will say this, but ask yourself if you like Sour Patch Kids before having this one. (Oh he’s so irreverent say the beer snobs reading this!) The tartness is remarkable though, my mouth was puckered for at least an hour after having the bomber. Everyone around me must have thought I wanted to kiss them. Perhaps I did. The beer makes you giggly and high just like some champers. I don’t completely buy that it’s 6% either. I was kinda fucked up after one solo-consumed bomber.

Cuvee de Castleton becomes more beer-like the more you drink it and the warmer it gets. The oak flavor starts to really come through in this insanely complex brew. I was confused at first by this beer as it’s my first wild ale, but by the end I was loving this and glad I have so many more bottles.

I really don’t think this is a beer that impatient neophytes will like and it would be hard to convince them otherwise. They should probably avoid it as I could see them doling out knee jerk F grades. And, considering I’ve drank one bottle and thus there are at maximum 839 left in the world, good chance these folks will never get to try this masterpiece.

Finally, I have never struggled so much to score a beer. I danced back and forth between maybe something in the Bs upon my first shocking taste before settling down, understanding the beer, and sometimes thinking it an A, many other times thinking it an A+. Really though, I think an A+ beer should be a no doubt about it. Of my only three A+’s, I knew they were A+’s the second I tasted them and likewise in each and every subsequent sip from there on out until the glass was drained. Thus, after far too much in-head deliberation, much like “Twelve Angry Men” inside my cerebrum, I had to finally admit that Cuvee de Castleton deserves an…


My final sip was an A+ though and I can’t wait to try bottle number two.

*Nerd fact: Only word in the English language with five straight vowels.

**Beer traders interested in having a bottle, please check out my Top Ten Most Wanted list and make me an offer in trade!

Captain Lawrence Pleasantville Smoked Porter

June 19, 2008

6.4% ABV poured from a growler

I lied somewhat when I said that the horrid Amstel Light was the only beer available at my aunt and uncle’s place during Father’s Day. There also happened to be a full growler of Captain Lawrence’s delicious smoked porter in the house. Say what? You see, my relatives live in Pleasantville, NY, a little upstate from the city. I’d been a fan of Captain Lawrence’s Liquid Gold for the past year or so, but hadn’t realized that the brewery was located in Pleasantville until just a few weeks ago. Thus, I thought I could kill many birds with one stone (and get plastered before an uncomfortable family gathering) by visiting the brewery early in the afternoon before the Father’s Day festivities. Unfortunately, the place is only open on Fridays and Saturday. Drats.

That greatly disappointed me because the new brewery (only open since 2006) just placed 5th on Beer Advocate‘s top 50 American breweries list. Yet, living just 31.8 miles away from it, I still rarely see their beers any where in Manhattan. In fact, I’m not even positive they bottle their beers. All I have ever discovered is the Liquid Gold on draft which increasingly more and more local bars are stocking. I was tipped off though that their smoked porter was phenomenal so I emailed my uncle early in the week and ask him if he could make a run to the brewery and pick up a few bottles of it for our dinner.

When I arrived at my uncle Les’s house on Sunday he quickly apologized. Seems Captain Lawrence doesn’t sell bottles at their brewery. He regrettably mentioned that all he could secure was a growler of the brew. That merits an apology?! Are you fucking kidding me?! I wanted to hug my uncle. It was one of the greatest things ever purchased for me. My very own growler.

I’ve always wanted my own growler. For those that don’t know (and you can read Beer Advocate’s lengthy and excellent explanation here), a growler is this giant half-gallon (64 ounce) jug, for lack of a better word, that looks like something that should have the label XXX on the side of it. You fill your growler with draught beer fresh from the brewery, greatly serving the beer-guzzler-on-the-go. Finish the half-gallon of beer off, wash out the growler, and then you can return to the brewery where you got it for cheap refills. As far as I know, The Whole Foods Bowery beer room and The Ginger Man are the only places in Manhattan that sell growlers of beer, but I may be wrong.

Look at my growler above. So medieval, so MANLY. Captain Lawrence’s own note on the growler claims “…this is how beer was MEANT to be tasted.” I could not agree more.

Of further amusement, my uncle seems to believe that Captain Lawrence’s brewmaster has like a Monday through Friday day job and then just arrives on Saturday afternoon to brew some WORLD-CLASS beer and shoot the shit with locals in the tasting room. This is clearly not true. In fact, Captain Lawrence’s brewmaster, Scott Vaccaro, majored in Fermentation Sciences in college at the University of California at Davis. Is that not the coolest major in the world?! Thus, the man most certainly knows what he is doing.

Any how, I was ready to crack open my growler and start chugging it with our Father’s Day meal but, unfortunately, or fortunately, my uncle Les noted that I should just take my growler home, claiming the beer looked a little too dark for him to drink and insisting that there’s no reason to open it since I couldn’t finish it all in one sitting…blah blah blah. We may be related but he obviously doesn’t know me that well. I could have finished that growler by myself in a few hours. Heck, I would have liked to have finished the growler in a few hours, washed it clean with hot water and ran back to the brewery for another fill-up before going back to Manhattan.

Any how, I did cart my growler home on the Metro-North. After a day of having it in the fridge, I could resist no long and had to pop the top. Let me firstly state that a growler is goddamn heavy. Luckily I am incredibly buff and an arm wrestling enthusiast but I’m not sure most men have enough strength to even upright the full growler in order to pour it into their pint glass. You should not be ashamed in asking for help.

Pours dark like STP. Smokey, obviously, with tastes of rich chocolate, coffee, creaminess and nutiness. Hints of black licorice which is my favorite part of this beer, making it very unique. Yum. Absolutely delicious.

I’m usually wishy-washy on porters because, though I love the taste of them, they are often avoided by me because after one I feel unable to drink for the rest of the night. They are so hefty and potent. After a single porter, my stomach doesn’t feel like adding any more beer to it while my mouth is so overwhelmed that I can’t drink anything else. But this is a surprisingly drinkable and refreshing smoked porter. Stone is maybe the only other brewery that makes a smoked porter I like as much as this one. The flavor stays in your mouth and your tongue well after you’ve swallowed a gulp. And you do gulp this beer it is so amazing. So complex. Don’t drink this one too cold or you’ll miss out on its subtleties. It can be enjoyed at near room temperature, maybe just a little chilled. A beautiful, unique beer. Not for everybody, not for “amateur” drinkers, but I think this is one most beer enthusiasts will adore.

I can’t wait to hopefully find and try more Captain Lawrence beers. It is surely one of the most exciting American breweries around nowadays.

And now I have an empty growler. Time to start a jug band.


Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold

June 17, 2008

6% ABV on draught

House of Brews can kind of feel like a research library instead of a bar. I mean, yeah, they have plasma TVs showing sports, and they have a menu loaded with greasy and delicious foods replete with mayo-based dipping sauces, and sometimes even females show up there. On purpose. But, I don’t think people do a lot of picking up there–I certainly haven’t–and I don’t think many people get hammered there, and certainly there are not a lot of recently graduated frat boys that go there to pound Goose and tonics, yo. It’s a place to indulge in quality beer, nothing more, nothing less. Most people drinking there are alone or with a single other person. And, that’s absolutely fine by me. I hate being served high-quality beer by a pop tart of a bartender that knows more about drinks that end in -tini than she does about the nerdy questions I need to ask her about my brew (“Excuse me, miss, how many IBUs are in this barley wine?”). I hate trying to enjoy my brew in a refined manner while some finance guido whose bald pate is busting out of his dress shirt tries to get his bros to do SoCo and lime shots with him. Thus, House of Brews is a perfect place for peacefully drinking alone.

The last time I was there, sitting to my right was some mid-fifties guy from the Midwest wearing bifocals on the absolute tip of his nose like Santa Claus does when he’s making his list and checking it twice. The guy sipped his beers with the tiniest of sips, once every five minutes or so. In between each sip he would sniff the beer, twirl it in the glass, and hold it up to the light. Beside him, he had a massive sheet of paper, his “tasting notes.” He was lost in the beer experience so I was able to look over his shoulder in the same manner I cheated on physics tests in college. These tasting notes had tons of boxes to check and data to fill it. It was more befitting a tax return or maybe a census form. The man meticulously copied all the information about his beer that he could cull from its bottle onto his notes. He then looked into the air with his tongue upturned like Charlie Brown used to do when he was thinking real hard before he began laboriously writing his thoughts on each aspect of the beer. It took him well over a half-hour for each beer.

The man on the left of me was a mid-thirties tourist. Possibly European I would guess by his dress. Beside him at the bar he’d plunked down his Fodor’s type guide book. However, it wasn’t a book that told you about museums and theatres and boring shit to take your bitch wife to. It was something called “The New York City Bar Guide.” Wow, that sounds like a pretty awesome vacation. I know it’s what I want to do whenever I’m on vacation (“Did you go to the Louvre?” “Is that a bar???”). OK, so I thought this man had to be pretty awesome. Then, he pulled his laptop from his bag and opened up an Excel spreadsheet. He then began to log information about the beers he was drinking into the file. Good lord. Nerd alert. Christ. Giving beer drinkers a bad name. Who brings a fucking laptop into a bar?

These were some fairly loathsome creatures in my humble opinion. I didn’t even want to shoot the shit with them, even if they might have had tons of knowledge to share with me. Please, please, please if I currently am, or ever become, one of these folks, make my next shot hemlock. You know how I make my “tasting notes”? I either fucking remember how good, bad, or mediocre my beer was and write it down later. Or, if I have some really unique or important or world-altering points to get down–remember, Louis Pasteur did say “A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world” and I’d like to think several bottles of beer would apply as well–I grab a stack of cocktail napkins and furiously scribble my stream of conscious notes down. Waking up the next morning to have my thoughts spewing out of my pockets written on anything I could find to write them on. The more notes I have is inversely proportional to the number of people I was drinking with the previous night. Alone, with nothing to do, I’m writing briskly like Dostoyevsky. But if I have friends to hang out with and women to mack on, then you better be fucking sure I’m not excusing myself from some girl’s “fascinating” story about her cat to write about beer. I’m trying to, you know, enjoy my life. It’s not too hard to recount my feelings about drinking a beer the next day or so. I mean, do you take notes when you fuck? I don’t, though that would be funny (maybe a microrecorder in the bed post? “Test, test, OK, my partner’s neck is kinda salty. Her ‘mouthfeel’ is clean, crisp, kissable. I think she ate a burrito earlier today as I detect hints of guacamole…”). Yet, we are all still able to recall in intense detail both our worst and best sexual experiences, sometimes years past the fact. And so am I when it comes to beer.

OK, onto this beer review as I look through my crumpled cocktail napkins trying to piece my thoughts together. I was alone when I drank this one and had absolutely no interest in befriending the dorks around me. Liquid Gold has a great smell that I adore and an even better taste. It’s very unique in flavor, befitting it’s cool name. It’s very spicy, exciting the mouth. Almost like a mouth full of Pop Rocks. It’s really malty and alcoholy tasting. Tons of summer fruits, honey, and even some sourness. Nicely carbonated, yet goes down easy. I’ll drank as many of these I can this summer and will hope more and more city bars begin to stock this local brew. Love it.