Ernestly Beer: Avery Brewing India Pale Ale

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“Honey, does this beer smell like weed?”

As the son of a son of a sailor or a missionary kid, I’ll let you decide which, that’s not the usual way my beer conversations start. Especially with my wife who only recognizes the smell of weed from attending Jack Johnson concerts.

“Why yes, yes it does.” 

Having confirmed my own assessment of this particular beer’s general nose, I leaned back in a high-backed wooden chair to enjoy a rather warm and sunny Alaskan spring Sunday.

I picked up a six-pack of Avery Brewing’s IPA in cans on Friday, and by Sunday I had accomplished enough to feel like I could afford to sit down and enjoy one. 

We survived nearly six months of an Alaskan winter. I can’t tell you how good it felt to sit in the sunshine and feel that warmth. I don’t know if it was the reflection off the can or what, but I was actually a little sunburned. 

Avery’s IPA is a heavy duty sipper with a lot of character. Here are my notes:

  • Huge floral aroma that turns distinctly earthly (as in smells like weed) when it warms up. Some citrus up front with fresh tropical fruit and some candied ginger spiciness.
  • The malt is warm to heavy without feeling like you drank a 32-ounce steak. At 6.5 percent ABV, a couple will make you feel rather full. Biscuity malt characteristics balance nicely with the hard hop edge. 
  • Heavy mouthfeel as it warms up. May not be the best hot-weather IPA, but it certainly stands up to an Alaskan spring day.
  • Absolutely astounding with chocolate, especially any chocolate/caramel pairing. In other words, this beer is fantastic with creamy dishes or fatty and flavorful cuts of meat where the hop flavors can work their magic and provide a balance of sharp and light flavors. 

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