It’s funny how names and branding can alter your perspective on things. Monday Night Brewing certainly has done that for this snob. I’ll probably never look at Monday evenings the same way. Regardless of where I travel or what I’m attending for my children – hey, it’s Monday night, right?
It’s great to see breweries who are willing to not only be creative and experiment with fun beers but also to occasionally raise an eyebrow at their core line up from time to time. It’s amazing how much craft beer has evolved and, in some cases, improved over the last several years. I think many of us have also noticed that there are beers – either core or seasonal – that don’t quite have the same allure that they once did. In most cases I’d argue that it wasn’t that the brewery slipped or the beer changed for the worse but instead that the beer around it got better. The fine folks at Monday Night Brewing don’t rest on their laurels either. They determined that their Blind Pirate Blood Orange IPA could be improved, so here we are. Let’s check it out.
This beer pours an amber hue with a big, thick, white head. I think the beer is clear but I’m outside and there is a fair amount of condensation and haze on the glass. However, looking down through the head, it is clear. On the nose I immediately find the orange/citrus aroma I was expecting as well as some pine and earth undertones – there’s a lot going on here. I’m also finding some bread-like and caramel malt qualities but they are subtle at best. On the palate the citrus blends more nicely with the rest of the beer than the aroma would suggest and I find more of the sweet malt character – caramel specifically. While the balance still lends itself to the hops, I’m digging the subtle toasty malt interaction. This beer is moderate on the palate, moderate to moderately-low carbonation. This beer is very, very drinkable which for 7.4% ABV, I’m pleasantly surprised.
Final snobs: Nicely done! While I cannot say I am overly familiar with the previous version, this version is very good and it stands out. While we could label this a “hop bomb,” I appreciate the malt backbone. This would pair well with grilled meats – I’d dig it with a burger or a pork chop – maybe this Monday night!