Blue Point Brewing Co.
Of course, I am biased towards Blue Point; I have to make an effort to love a New York brew. While LI may not be “local” per se, I’ll have to hold out, and until Schaefer returns to the Isle of the Mannahatoes, Patchogue is close enough. Their Toasted Lager is a fine drink and, though I’d tried Hoptical Illusion before, I was eager to write down my thoughts.
As one can guess from the name (and the label, I suppose) this is an IPA. From the outset, this is a beautiful IPA. Golden with a tinge of amber, the head billows, but not uncontrollably, into a white rocky foam that sticks to the edge of the glass. A steady effervescence echoes what is eventually a great mouthfeel. The nose has a lot of malt, peaking with a sticky sourdough aroma and finishing on a tart grapefruit note. Certainly, there is alcohol in this beer, which is evident from the first whiff. However, those alcohol notes, paired with the citrus tartness means a lot of hops. Blue Point gets its hops from Oregon, and it is a West Coast, American IPA all the way. The sip is very bready at first, but nice. It hits the top of your palate nicely and clears the way for a brief warming of alcohol, and a sweet flavor that rides out into an appealing citric sourness. This is a delicious beer and a fine example of American IPA. At 6.8% ABV it’s not a session beer, but most beers with this much bitter hop punch will seem aggressive to most anyway.