When I was young, I was all about the macro brew. I was into Miller Genuine Draft. For years. Then I moved to Seattle and the world was tipped on it’s head. I’ve gone through the various stages beginning with the gentle hefeweizen, a soft unfiltered wheat beer. After that I moved into the Ambers and some of the Octoberfests. At each stage I was getting darker and a little bolder.
The next stage would have been the deep porters and stouts. But I never made it there. For some reason I stopped going darker and went towards the IPA.
And so it is that I find myself on a never ending quest for a better IPA. I try to rank ’em. Not so much against each other, but against a common standby. So, tonight I’ll introduce that standby and every now and then I’ll introduce a new favorite.
The IPA that I use as my measuring stick is Red Hook’s Long Hammer:
Here’s what Red Hook has to say:
The generous addition of hops both during and at the end of the fermentation process (dry-hopping) gives our India Pale Ale its characteristic bitterness and piney citrus aroma and flavor. The medium body, crisp finish, and moderate alcohol and IBU levels makes this one of America’s most drinkable and best-selling IPAs.
I don’t know what that means, really. All I know is that for an everyday back, Long Hammer is about as solid as you can get. And when looking for an everyday beer, I look for:
- Availability – The beer can not be a rotating specialty. It has to be there everyday. All day.
- Convenient – I’m awfully busy. I have tons of work, lodge and church stuff. And that’s AFTER my family. The kids dominate. So being able to buy the beer at the local grocery is paramount. Red Hook’s distribution agreement with Budweiser is huge.
- Great taste – Predictable and convenient doesn’t count for jack if it doesn’t taste good. And Long Hammer delivers. It’s not elite, maybe not even great. But it’s REALLY good.
- Packaging – I hate buying beer in six-packs. Coming in cases of 12 is huge.
- Price – Let’s face it, I’m not gonna drink a beer that comes in at more than $3 a beer. Just not gonna happen.
Long Hammer is exactly that. All of the above. It’s widely available tastes good.
There ya have it.