Friday, December 2, 2016

2016 Advent Beer 1: APA by Birrificio del Doge

The most wonderful time of the beer has come around again at last, and so it was with tremendous anticipation and only moderate degrees of grogginess that I rolled out of bed this morning and traipsed to the basement in order to discover what awaited me behind the corrugated door.

A minimalist label greeted me, and a little perusal told this was the APA from Italy's Birrificio Del Doge. It becomes more fascinating the more I look at it though, and I find myself wondering if the gentleman in the cameo is wearing a Spanish or Italian hat, and whether or not that is a roller skate at the top of the design (probably not). APA is this instance stands for American Pale Ale, so you know you to prepare yourself for a hoppy ride.

Returning home tonight, I discover that this APA pours a cloudy gold, with hints of orange peering though. A classic head forms from from only a moderate pour, and citrusy hops greet the exploratory sniff, backed by a bit of yeasty tang.

The first sip unleashes a sharp, hop-forward beer, with hints of both grapefruit and orange zest, but followed by enough malt characteristics to balance things out. A crisp, bitter finish with a hint of sweetness rounds out the experience.

I immediately envisioned drinking this beer with a meal built around spiced meats, like chili, curry, or even charcuterie, and at 4.8% abv it wouldn't overpower you if you needed more than one for fire containment purposes.

A solid start to this year's Advent Calendar!

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