By Chris Wright
on 5.17.13
Photo by Eric Yang

Editor’s Note: All of our tasting notes to date have been focused on commercially available spirits, beers and wines. Recently, Sam Shipley of Shipley & Halmos fame invited us to try his latest batch of home brew, created in collaboration with Allison Sires of Thomas Sires. This BITTER A.S.S.S. BEER is an English-style IPA and damn delicious. Our resident beer aficionado Chris Wright approached the subject in a slightly more eloquent manner.

Any home-brewed beer comes with a sort of sign-on-the-dotted line unspoken agreement: this will probably be fine — delicious, even — but maybe, just maybe, the brewer will have really messed up. In that case, you’ll still swig through it, nod, and say “I can’t imagine how hard this would be to make!”

We needn’t have worried with this batch of A.S.S.S. home brew. Their English-style IPA was clearly crafted with a significant amount of beer knowledge and scientific passion, and executed with some serious brewing skill. We were lucky enough to reap the benefits.

Those benefits? Tasty. This IPA was particularly true to the style, with a beautiful deep burgundy color and hop-centric florals on the nose. The first sip revealed a large carbonation, which ridded that just-stepped-off-the-hot-street feeling faster than a cold shower. A pleasant medium hop flavor, followed immediately by a serious malt backbone that had a biscuity dryness, made for a supremely balanced brew.

Though most of you reading this will never get to taste this particular batch beer personally, they have shared the entire brewing process through a series of blog posts in case the home brewing bug bites.