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The "Surprise" Best Beer I Drank This Weekend

Pipeworks Brewing out of Chicago, IL began distributing their beers in New York City in the middle of 2015 and I've been impressed with nearly everything I've tried from them to date. My local bottle shop had a few of their beers on the shelf a few months back and a snagged a pint of both Lizard King, a mosaic single hopped, pale and Ninja vs. Unicorn, their cult favorite Double IPA. The latter has status for being a dank, very drinkable DIPA while also having the one of the best can art you'll see period. I've also has Close Encounter, which is a hoppy stout, or black IPA, or cascadian dark ale or whatever you want to call it. Long story short, yes it was hoppy, yes the stout features were there and nice but it's never been a style that I was very fond of.

With that being said the best thing I drank this weekend was Citra, a imperial IPA from Pipeworks single-hopped series. My buddy had brought a bomber of this along with a few additional great beers but this was the clear standout of the weekend. Prior to drinking it I had never tried or heard much about this series of beers from the brewer but that soon changed. I split the bottle evenly in stemless wine glasses and it a pretty amber and orange color with white head the dissipated quickly (the lighting in this picture doesn't clearly show the color of the beer's body). The smell was heavy on the citrus leaning towards grapefruit but we both looked up at the same time knowing that the aroma was a teller that we were in for something special. The taste follows the nose, bright citrus and enough of a malt backbone that balanced with the subtle bitterness. Everything working in unison made this a very drinkable beer at 9.5% abv and I just wish we had more than a bomber of it.

The only reason I say this was a surprise was because I didn't know I would be drinking it especially with Pipeworks' track record. I can tell you with a distinct certainty that I will be going out of my way to get my hands on more of these single hopped imperial IPAs when they're on the shelves.

***Also wanted to note that I included the picture with Southampton Grand Cru so that you could also see the color of the beer and not just the empty bottle. It should also be noted that the Grand Cru was from me cellar and it was the 2012 vintage. I'm also including a not so great picture of the Ninja vs. Unicorn because you just need to see it.

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