When I saw that today's beer came from Iron Fist Brewing Co., I was pretty happy.
It's not that I'd ever heard of this Vista, CA brewery before, but the fact that it shares a name with Marvel Comics' preeminent martial arts hero, Danny Rand, just made me smile.
Then I read that this was an "ale brewed with orange peel and grains of paradise with coriander" I was back to being intrigued. Grains of paradise are a west African spice sometimes called alligator pepper, and I don't mind a moderate amount of those elements in my beer, and am not opposed to pours of things like Hoegaarden, so I was prepared to give this a shot.
Spice of Life pours a rich, slightly hazy gold, with a thin layer of crisp, white head. A slightly musty aroma, punctuated with yeast and the undertones of bitter orange and a trace of the coriander. The peppery spice I was expecting was fairly subdued
A generally smooth ale, with bitterness from both the hops and the orange peel, as well as the expected citric zest. The bitterness is refreshing but distinct from what you get with, say, an IPA. The pepperiness is there, but mild and not unpleasant, showing up primarily as a lingering aftertaste rather than an assertive affront to the tastebuds and nostrils.
Iron Fist has made a tasty brew here, and one of the more quenchable beers in this year's calendar, just not in a style that resonates particularly well with me. It is a nice way to expand the horizons of one's palate, though.
And in other Iron Fist news, Marvel Studios recently announced that they have at last hired a showrunner for the upcoming Iron Fist series on Netflix, a former Dexter alumni at that. This hiring ends months of frustrating speculation that the people who owned 2014's box office with a film featuring a walking tree and gun-toting raccoon were somehow stymied when forced to come up with 13 episodes of a show about a kung fu billionaire.