The 4th of July holiday weekend is almost here! And though there won’t be big parties or huge fireworks displays this year, it’s still America’s Independence Day and that’s worthy of a few celebratory beers! To help you decide what to enjoy on this beautiful long weekend, I’ve picked a few of my current favorites from our #DrinkPGH Local Section:
The newest entry in Cinderlands’ Test Piece series of single hop IPAs, Cinderlands Test Piece: Simcoe IPA features Simcoe. The brewery had this to say, “Huge hop-forward nose packed with aromas of tangerine oil and red pine forest leading into fully saturated orange blossom honey and pineapple bread on the palate. Soft, luscious mouthfeel with coating hop oils. Light golden and hazy.” It sits at 7.6% ABV and, at time of writing, holds a 3.98/5 on Untappd.
Look: This brew pours thick and hazy. It features a creamy head and a light, orangeish gold color.
Smell: Citrusy fruits are what hit my nose first. Orange especially comes through.
Taste: A very soft and approachable brew. I’m noticing lots of tangerine, as well as hints of orange and lemon. It’s also certainly piney and finishes with just a touch of bitterness.
Thoughts: One of the best Test Pieces I’ve had so far (though Cinderlands Test Piece: Citra is also awesome!). A crushable IPA that would be perfect for your cookout! If you liked 11th Hour’s Hour IV, this one will be right up your alley!
Tyler's Rating: 4.25/5
Altered Genius Lenore Chocolate Fudge Coffee Stout
Named after Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”, Lenore is a delicious dessert stout that is the latest offering from the newest brewery to join our #DrinkPGH section, Altered Genius Brewing Co. in Ambridge! Direct from the brewer, it’s “brewed using Prestogeorge chocolate fudge roasted coffee beans that are cold brewed and then combined with the mash. This is a bold, jet black beer. It features subtle notes of Madagascar vanilla and a rich, velvety mouthfeel.” It clocks in at 6.0% ABV and currently holds a 3.70/5 on Untappd.
Look: This brew pours a beautiful, pitch black color and has a thick, lingering head.
Smell: The coffee aromas are in the driver’s seat here. Some chocolate as well, but the coffee definitely comes through first and foremost.
Taste: In a word, wow! I got to try this one on tap at the brewery, and it has lost absolutely nothing through being canned. It’s rich and roasty, but not too heavy. Surprisingly, I’m tasting more chocolate than coffee, though both are present. Slight bitterness on the finish balances out the sweetness and makes for a very enjoyable drinking experience.
Thoughts: As I’ve said plenty of times before, I’m a year-round stout guy. However, I think this one is light and approachable enough that even the less fanatical among us could enjoy it in the summertime. A great nightcap for when the sun goes down and the air turns cool.
Tyler's Rating: 4.5/5