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Nov
23

Mayflower IPA

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mayflower ipa detailThanksgiving week is upon us, a time filled with family, food, and Uncle Junior’s embarrassing drunkenness. But before the turkey fires can set off your smoke detectors, it’s a simple fact that this holiday week MUST kick off with a bold and hoppy brew.

For this IPA Monday, I’ve chosen to drink Mayflower IPA. If you’re looking for a “Pilgrim-themed” IPA to help you start off a shortened workweek, you would be hard-pressed to find a better beer. Mayflower’s India Pale Ale is 7% ABV, 69 IBU, and is brewed with four different types of hops: Nugget, Simcoe, Glacier, Amarillo.

Did you know that beer is featured prominently in the Pilgrims’ historic journey aboard the Mayflower? According to the Mayflower Brewing Company’s website . . .

“. . . beer was the staple drink on board the Mayflower. Unlike water, which quickly spoiled when stored in the hold of ships, beer contained no bacteria, and the then-recent introduction of hops made it keep longer. It was also a terrific source of carbohydrates. Men, women and children drank beer daily, and sailors aboard the Mayflower received a daily ration of a gallon.”

While searching for suitable land along Cape Cod, the Pilgrims grew weary and settled in Plymouth, due — it would seem — to dwindling supplies of beer! A quote by William Bradford’s firsthand account of the Pilgrims at Plymouth decorates the label: “We could not now take time for further search or consideration, our victuals being much spent, especially our beer.”

Upon arriving in Plymouth, the Pilgrims found sweet, fresh water — and today, that water is used to create craft beer by Mayflower Brewing Company.

mayflower ipa label beerThe beer pours honey-amber, with a persistent off-white foam that clings tenaciously to the glass while receding. Citrus and herbal hops rise up to greet your nose with a scent that’s sweetly decorated — dabs of caramel malt and candied grapefruit.

I’m a big fan of IPAs that manage a drinkable balance between citrus hops and caramel malt. Mayflower IPA sails those sea perfectly.

Citrus bitterness splashes across the tongue before a undertow of pale malt pulls you out to deeper water — where it’s warm and caramel sweet. Soon, you’re crashing back upon the hoppy shoals and letting the sea drain away to a lingering, sticky-green hop finish.

Unlike my metaphor abuse, the beer isn’t too heavy. It has a medium mouthfeel and a pleasant warmth from the otherwise hidden alcohol.

And that reminds me — with Uncle Junior coming to the house this Thanksgiving, hiding the alcohol might be a very good idea.

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Categories : Beer a Day, IPA Monday

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