A very belated recap of a beer tasting I lead as part of a "Guy's Night" event at Crossfit Metropolis in East Harlem. Along with fitness another huge goal of Crossfit is building a community so most gyms will often have social events for their members. On a Friday night back in August I hauled up a bunch beers for everyone to taste after powering through the workout below which is a 9/11 hero workout:
9 Rounds of:
11 Box Jumps
3 Hang Power Cleans
4 Front Squats
3 Shoulder to Overhead
Then finish with 2001 Meter Row
When I was selecting beers for this event I went in with the approach of picking refreshing beers as well as a few stronger beers to numb the pain after such a tough workout. This is usually my own personal formula when I'm searching for a beer after a long run; either something above 7% abv (after properly re-hydrating of course) or something that will go down easy as pie. Once everyone completed the workout and had a few minutes to catch their breath I lead them through
White Rascal: Belgian style wheat beers are a style that a lot of people have exposure to but not necessarily good versions of it. This beer from Avery Brewing Company happens to be one of the good ones. This beer pours a hazy golden straw yellow with a very citrus forward aroma. It's easy drinking, a bit sweet but mostly citrus/orange with a touch of banana and clove. This was an easy choice as it was familiar to everyone but also strayed enough from the norm that just about everyone enjoyed it.
Cayuga Cruiser: This is by far my favorite summer and warm weather beer. Unfortunately for everyone else out there I'm going to buy all of it next year so you won't have a chance to try it when Ithaca Beer Co. releases it. This is a berliner-weisse ale which is a wheat beer that has lactobacillus added during fermentation along with their house yeast. This beer is bright, refreshing and tart, it's also low on the ABV front making it great for long drinking sessions under the sun or after a hard workout. It's a hazy, golden straw color with mostly lemon on the nose. It has a tartness akin to yogurt but with lots of citrus flavor following the nose and is bone dry on the finish. There was a mixed reaction to this, as always with beers under the sour umbrella, but those that liked it kept asking for more.
Grapefruit Sculpin: This beer solves the problem of getting an IPA drinking to enjoy a shandy and visa versa. I don't love Sculpin and I hate shandy but I'll drink this if it's put in front of me. I got a lot of head nods on this one and I had a lot of leftover afterwards but they may have been a result of the finishing act overshadowing it. What's great about this beer is that the bitterness that comes with the grapefruit is familiar to those who don't like IPAs but there is still enough of a hop bite for those who are looking for hops will still get their fix.
Hop Showers: I had picked up cans from the brewery the Saturday before the tasting so this was super fresh and a bit of a ringer for the best in show. It's just shy of DIPA territory but it drinks like a much bigger beer and it my favorite of all of the IPAs being produced by Other Half. It pours a light orange, leaning towards golden and is heavy pine on the nose, a bit dank and lots of citrus. You get a lot of hop resins on first tasting it and tons of citrus and the bitterness lingers for a bit but there enough malt that you can just keep on sipping or chugging, whatever you're feeling at the moment.
The clear favorite of the night was Hop Showers with Cruiser being a close second. White Rascal is a reliable go to for me and there were a few people who had a few extra pours and were itching for more of that as well. The Grapefruit Sculpin was enjoyed but I think being next to a fresh IPA like Hop Showers left it in the dust but still something that should be considered for post workout recovery.