1. Almond 22 Pink IPA
Ok, so first off, what's with the name of the brewery? Well, apparently, the building that the Italian Almond '22 brewery uses is from the late 19th century, a building in which old women used to peel almonds in 1922. I suppose it's a good thing that the building wasn't used for (noun) in the year (number). [Mad Libs...classic] Anyway, the Italian craft beer scene has definitely been growing lately and that's evident through this beer, an IPA that uses pink pepper. I'm definitely not a master of pepper, but from what I understand, pink pepper is distinct from a different type of pepper tree. How it's different from black pepper? The color (I have no idea...someone please enlighten me). Anyway, since this is an IPA, I'm more interested in the hops that are used in the beer, which are Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin and Hallertau. The result is mild in comparison to American IPAs. Mostly grapefruit and a slight hint of spiciness from the pepper. It could be that US breweries have slammed flavor down my throat so I come to expect more, but either way, I could use some bolder flavor from this beer. That said, I'm definitely curious to see any other beer styles coming from this brewery.
Overall Rating: B-
2. New Holland Charkoota Smoked Doppelbock
Flying pig on the label? Yea, I'll be a sucker for it. Honestly though, I'm more of a sucker for a beer that has "smoked" in the description. I love smoky-style beer. This one from New Holland definitely fits the bill. The malt is a blend that includes rye, a malt that a lot of brewers avoid due to its ability to harden up like a rock. Some of the malted barley is smoked over cherry wood, which as you can guess is the ultimate contributor to the smoky taste. Smoky beers originate from Germany (surprise) and the rauchbier style. The first time I tried one of these styles was amazing. It was like someone combined two of my favorite things in the world: beer and bacon. This beer wasn't the best example of the style that I've tried, but it was definitely tasty. These beers are great for pairing with food. I drank this while munching on some cheese and I definitely wasn't hatin' it.
Overall Rating: B