“Tapping the Keg” is a weekly review of craft beers brought to you by staff writer Dan Wood.
Through my local network of beer lovers, I had the privilege of tasting and evaluating my first beer from Foley Brothers Brewing. With the highly rated brewery located in Brandon, Vermont, beers from these brewers are a bit harder to find, but not impossible by any means. Unfortunately for Storrs residents, the closest retailer is Neil’s Fine Wines and Liquors located in Ellington, Connecticut, and should run you around $12 to $15 dollars for a four pack of pint cans.
As for the pint can design, I must say there is much respect for simplicity and composition here. The can is a solid white with a black ink vine baring three hops hanging down the center of the can. This work of art is framed by designs of three, like small lotus stamps, in threes, along the sides of the can. The brewer’s name as well as beer type are all centered in threes.
From the back of the can: “Foley Brothers Brewing, established in 2012, is a family run brewery in Brandon, Vermont. We strive to consistently produce beer that evokes enjoyment. Prospect IPA is brewed using locally grown barley, malted at Peterson Quality Malt in Monkton, Vermont.” This beer is not exactly local to Connecticut, but it seems their business practice is sound when it comes to their local scene.
When gently (this beer has sediment!) poured into a chilled glass there are two things that are instantly striking about this beer: the color and the aroma. Prominent notes of hops, straw, toasted nuts and grilled pineapple define the smell. The color is a beautiful, deep, cloudy gold, accented by medium-sized bubbles and a gentle head.
The top of this beer does confirm the nose with an immediate smack in the tongue with huge hop flavor. The decoration of the can was certainly not misleading this time, but there is more at play here. Just past the loud hoppy-ness of the top is a composed background of dried apricot, wild flour honey and young nectarine. This then gives way to the middle, where the bitter and sour tastes get a turn with notes of wheat and tropical fruit we were detecting in the nose. The bitterness in the middle can be a bit harsh, but fades the more you sip on this IPA. You might assume the finish to be harsh, but it has a pleasant savoryness that lingers on the back of your tongue with a slight familiarity, reminiscent of the amino crystals found in aged hard cheeses, which brings us to pairing.
This beer is very bold with its flavors, so look for cheeses and meats to match its strength. When it comes to meals, a medium-to-high activity fish dish with a heavily aromatic tomato sauce would be a delightful compliment to this beer. As the weather warms up, consider grilling your fish for extra intensity. On that same note, grilled pork with a heavy seasoning and a sweet glaze would be a fine addition to this beer. Why not rub some pork down with jerk seasoning and grill up some pineapple as a side? Just be sure to keep Prospect IPA at your side.
This beer is very strong in both flavor and alcohol by volume, which might lend it some of its more intense flavors and tastes. Either way, go easy on this beer, and if you don’t like hop forward IPAs, stay clear of this beer.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Dan Wood is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.