Before we get too far into today’s column, I just wanted to say a quick and sad Adios to our neighbor – and rabid supporter of this beer scribe’s work – New York Nick’s. Televised ice hockey and chicken wings just won’t be the same without you, Mr. Zangari! Until we meet again!
It’s that time of year again. Brewers begin shaking off the sluggishness of winter’s chill and start ramping up production in preparation for the warmer months to come; ergo “beer-drinking weather.” So, while steeling myself to get ready for the onslaught of seasonal selections, along comes a brewery that I’ve been hoping to see on The Panhandle for a very long time now, exacerbating my dilemma of keg storage space.
These are good problems. Our guests are rewarded with new and exciting product on a seemingly weekly basis. Logistically, it’s a bit of a pain for me shuffling keg placements and making room, all the while keeping a head count on kegs about to run dry so I can accommodate all the new stuff coming in. Again, good problems, but I never thought I’d see the day where 112 draft lines aren’t enough.
So, this brewery that just showed up. We’re incredibly pleased to announce that 21st Amendment rolled out with us at Hopjacks yesterday. Among the 6 kegs I picked up for the launch party was a beer I first found in Atlanta and is probably one of my favorite warm-weather brews; Hell Or High Watermelon.
Now, everything I’ve ever had from this San Francisco brewery has been fantastic and the beer geek community holds them in high regard. But this one… More than just a clever name, this wheat-based ale is pale straw-yellow, light, juicy and soft-bodied with lively carbonation. Talk about straight-up, natural watermelon flavor! With just a hint of sweet lemon by way of the wheat malt, Hell Or High Watermelon is simply agua fresca with a slight alcohol kick and a dose of CO2. Thoroughly crushable!
Whereas you may have missed the 21st Amendment launch, you’ve got plenty of time to fit our Shipyard & Sea Dog Pint Night on April 12th into your schedule. Originally planned as a way of showcasing the tasty, locally-based and ecology-minded Edible Invaders Lionfish Dip along with Sea Dog’s Sunfish Wheat, two other new items became available from the brewery, so specialty product launch number two for the still-young month! Along with a Blood Orange Belgian Wheat is Sea Dog’s latest Brewer’s Choice: Watermelon IPA.
This one is gold in color with a head of frothed egg white and spotty lacing. The nose starts out with sweet watermelon followed quickly by a tart sourness, orange peel and grapefruit. There’s a huge, hoppy bitterness up front that instantaneously morphs into flavors of melon rind and Jolly Rancher candy.
Two different awesome takes on watermelon in a beer… How to decide? Help us drink them to figure it out, and do it fast. I’ve got more good problems to solve.