One of the greater things about watching football in America is that most matches, especially those of the EPL, are early in the morning American time, giving people an excuse to daydrink. This is part of our series discussing exactly what to drink when you’re at the pub, presented by our resident homebrewer, Keith.
The beer: Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Delaware
The pub: the Amtrak northeast regional train from DC to New York. I was following the scores of the Saturday matches during my trip, so this counts.
What you need to know: India Pale Ale is a style originally developed by the Brits as a sea faring drink. The name comes from the extra hop additions that were necessary to make ale keep on a transcontinental sea journey to India. An “Imperial” IPA, meanwhile, is a rather new innovation- it’s an attempt for American brewers to push the envelope on both the hop and alcohol fronts- combining the high-gravity imperial stout with an amplification of the hops in an IPA.
90 Minute is one of Dogfish Head’s most well-known beers, up there in its series of “minute” beers (60 and 120 are the others).
So, About this beer: Most imperial IPAs are excuses for brewers to make a hop bomb, the better to attempt to cover the booziness of the beer. In Dogfish Head’s case, the hops are much more subtle than they could have been. The beer pours a hazy orange. The predominant aromas are citrus and cut grass from the hops. The taste is a very nice tug of war between the hop bitterness and the sweetness of the alcohol. The slight viscosity of the mouth feel is really nicely cut as well by the hops.
Verdict: 90 Minute gets a lot of hype; in its case, though, it’s entirely deserved. This is an absolutely delicious beer. I wouldn’t recommend drinking too many of these at once, because the alcohol level will put you below the bar before you know it. But I do recommend having it when you can.