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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hunter's: Terrific Twos

This past Monday, Hunter's Brewing celebrated their two-year anniversary. I've written about this local brewery many times and have spent many an evening there at the bar. To commemorate this milestone, I dug up the rest of my notes on their beers. I wrote about 49 or so of their beers. When I decided to stop writing about every single beer I drank, I still had quite a few Hunter's brews in my log. So...here it is, a marathon post about nine of their brews that I hadn't written about. Some of these I've had so many times that I'm surprised the notes were never posted!

Chesterton Kind
ABV: 9.5% 

This pale ale is brewed with hops grown by the brewers in Chesterton. A couple of years ago Mr. K and I, with a group of other random volunteers, helped to harvest the hops off the vine. The smell was amazing, the yield was small. With such a small amount, the number of batches are few, so when it's on tap, it's worth savoring. 

The brew itself was a unique blend of hop bitterness smoothed out with a good malt flavor. It had a pithy finish. 

Gala Harvest
ABV: 6.3% 

This ale was brewed with locally-harvested Gala apples. Using one type of apple can be one-dimensional in ciders, but this apple beer was wonderfully complex.

It had a thick off-white head. It was very effervescent with tiny bubbles rushing up the side of the glass. The rich cinnamon spice aroma was tempered by vanilla.

The apple taste was distinct, but light. The grain flavors carried through and paired well with the earthy cinnamon. I wasn't sugary in the least. It was dry from the cinnamon. It tasted more like juicy, earthy apple as it warmed.
Calluna
ABV: 5.2% 

This Scottish-style ale was brewed with heather tips. This addition definitely piqued my interest and brought out flavors I'd never tasted before.

It was so delicate. It was like a white tea. It was sort of sweet, very earthy and floral, but had loads of rich graininess to it that made it very distinctly beer.
Waverly Beach
ABV: 5.2% 

This pale ale is a nice alternative to their other, hoppier brews. I learned one spring that it made for a wonderful beermosa. The citra hops add to the orange juice flavors.

This gold brew had a white frothy head made up of tiny bubbles. I smelled so hoppy and delightful. It was very citra hoppy, very hoppy for an APA. But it gave this brew a very musky fruit flavor. It had a dry finish.
HBEXP02
ABV: 5.1% 

This was a real treat. After the chocolaty, coconut-y HBEXP01, I was excited to try this new melony hop.

This pale gold brew had a creamy white head. It smelled a bit musky-sweet. 

My taste notes say "Seriously, melon?" And that's really the only way to put it. It wasn't a touch of honeydew or a hint of cantaloupe, it was full-blown melon. It was balanced with a pale ale hop bitterness. It had a cantaloupe aftertaste. 
Wycombe
ABV: 5.0% 

ESBs are a nice change to the standard lineups of IPAs and stouts. When it's true to style it is really a craveable brew. Hunter's, as always, hit the nail on the head. 

This gold brew had an off-white, bubbly head. It smelled so toasted and warm. It tasted bitter, toasty, and a little juicy.  The familiar ESB yeast comes through to bring back nice memories.
Glory Days
ABV: 6.7

Black IPAs, Cascadian Dark Ales, are rich and bitter. You get all of the richness of the dark, roasted grains, and the strong bitterness and aroma from the hops.

This one had a creamy, coffee-colored head that clings to the glass. It smelled hoppy (woody) with a bitter roast and bit of vanilla. The taste matched the aroma with that roast paired with hop bitterness. It was earthy. That vanilla came in the aftertaste (might have been in my head).
Sun Gate
ABV: 6

This was a nice departure from Threadsplitter and Meridian. I had it getting over a cold, so I didn't get to enjoy it as much as I would have liked to.

It was a cloudy toffee color. It was topped with a bubbly white head. As I drank it, the brew left thick lacing on the glass from all of those hop oils. The taste was creamy, but the astringent hops wiped all of that away. It was very pithy.
Marlow
ABV: 4.2

Bitters are a nice, drinkable brew to enjoy when catching up with friends. They are generally low-ABV, all day brews that are full of flavor. Marlow was not exception. 

This gold brew had a white head that quickly settled to a bubbly ring. It smelled like biscuit and cara malt. It was so grainy and delicious. It was almost like when you taste a bit of your milled grain before you start brewing. I definitely order this whenever it's on tap.

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