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!