Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hinterland Brewery and Restaurant - Hinterland IPA

When one thinks of Green Bay, Wisconsin, images of Packer lore: Vinnie Lombardi in his houndstooth trenchcoat, McGee's dominance in Super Bowl I, Reggie White's ferocity and tenacity to sack opposing quarterbacks and Brett Farve's 399 yard, four touchdown performance on Monday Night Football instantly come to this author's mind. However, nestled in this bitterly cold, but beautiful Midwest city, is the Hinterland Brewery and Restaurant, which is quickly giving cheeseheads and non-cheeseheads alike something to talk about other than the Packers, artisanal craft beer.

Founded in 1995, The Hinterland Brewery and Restaurant now is producing eleven brews ranging from american staples: IPA and Pale Ale to excellent seasonals: Maple Bock and Winterland. Recently, The Hinterland Brewery began distributing their award winning beer to Massachusetts. I was drawn to their beer because of the simplicity of their logo (which reminds me of the Packers logo) and their distinctive pint bottles. Having sampled the: Pale Ale, Cherry Wheat, Oktoberfest, Luna Stout and Amber Ale, I noticed that a local bottle shop, Craft Beer Cellar, had obtained their IPA. At a price tag of three dollars, I was absolutely thrilled to see it on the shelf.

The Hinterland IPA pours eye-appealing burnt orange with light and foamy head. As the head recedes, small intricate lacing coats the glass. Holding the glass against light, the beer is extremely clear and has minimal carbonation.
The aroma that is released from this IPA is very reminiscent of citrus fruit, most notably tangerines and grapefruit. Expecting the traditional American "Hop Bomb", I was pleasantly surprised to smell the subtle hop character with an excellent balance of malt sweetness.
Hinterland's IPA is more English than American in style. The taste begins with malts coating your palate leaving a biscuity flavor and ends with grassy-earthiness from the hops. The citrus aroma that was present in the nose is somewhat masked from the grassiness, but due to the balanced flavor, the taste is very nice.
The mouthfeel is light-bodied with an appropriate amount of carbonation. These two characteristics combine for a very dry and crisp finish, which results in a very refreshing pint.
At 6.7% ABV and combined with the english influence of hop and malt kinship, Hinterland's IPA is very drinkable. Everytime I purchased a Hinterland product, my respect for this Midwest brewery continues to grow. If you see this in your local bottle shop, definitely give it a chance and make Packer fans proud of their local brew.


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