My Florida-based brother, Andrew, and I periodically exchange craft beer made in our respective states. You can learn about the genesis of our ongoing project here, if you’re so inclined.
For our 2017 springtime edition, we’ve traded a couple of refreshing offerings from two young and growing breweries.
The Home Team
Most fledgling breweries struggle to get their product noticed. When Lord Hobo Brewing Company opened its doors in 2015, it faced a different challenge – keeping up with demand.
So it goes when your reputation precedes you.
Lord Hobo may have been owner Daniel Lanigan’s first attempt at producing his own beer, but he’d already opened several successful restaurants – one of which, brewery namesake Lord Hobo in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, has consistently been recognized as one of the top beer bars in Massachusetts.
Two years later, Lord Hobo Brewing has more than lived up to expectations. Lord Hobo’s beer is available in at least seven states, the Woburn taproom is usually packed, and there are ambitious plans for a new brewery/brewpub in the Seaport.
And while I’ve enjoyed all of Lord Hobo’s beers, their most recent release, the aptly named Glorious, is easily my favorite. A 6.5 ABV pale ale brewed with Galaxy hops, Glorious is a hazy, straw-colored beer with notes of tropical fruit on the nose and on the palate. It’s hop-forward but not hop-heavy, with floral notes up front that give way to a mild bitterness.
Glorious is ideally suited to this up-and-down spring we’ve had here in Boston. Refreshing on a steaming hot day, but more than capable of standing up to some of the rain and gloom we’ve had.
Between celebrating their first anniversary this past April and bottling their beer for the first time, 2017 has been pretty good to Calusa Brewing.
Named for a Native American tribe that once inhabited the Gulf Coast region, the Sarasota brewery is always on my itinerary when I visit my brother. Their taproom is spacious and uncluttered, making it a comfortable environment for sampling their growing selection of brews.
Now they’re bottling for on-premise sales, and I’m excited that Andrew sent me a couple of bottles of Citronious, a Citra IPA. [There is some confusion about spelling of this beer’s name. As you can see here, the label spells it Citronius, but the website lists it as Citronious. I’ve seen more recent bottles with the latter spelling, so I’m assuming the bottle I got was a very early one, and the spelling has since been corrected.]
Calusa proclaims that it is “committed to creating quality brews inspired by Florida’s rich aquatic heritage and culture,” which may explain the fearsome kraken-like logo that adorns the Citronious label.
Citronious is a 6.5 ABV American IPA with the big floral notes that Citra hops are known for. I get orange and grapefruit in the nose, along with coriander and other warm-weather spices. The finish is clean and crisp. Perfect for summertime imbibing, especially with its sunny hue.
Hope everyone has a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!
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