Guinness I.P.A. — Guinness Open Gate Brewery at Halethorp/Baltimore, Md.
Date: October 28, 2018
The Story— You can rad most of the story on our Hopping Around main post (to the left on the home page). This was one of the first beers we tasted at the US Guinness brewery. Good friends who know their beer had encouraged a visit earlier than we planned, and we’re grateful for the tip. The IPA was, as they promised, a solid US style IPA. We thought it wasn’t a great deal better than Cushwa or Spencer Devon or Heavy Seas, but — and this was the surprise– it wasn’t any worse either. So the Irish can brew American. Who knew? But why not?
The Beer— The American Guinness beers lean towards sweetness and this is no exception. Sweet, maybe ripe red grapefruit and some pineapple flood the aroma and taste. The pale malt is firm but outgunned. It looks like a NEIPA. It’s hazy, but there’s too much bitter in the hops for a true NEIPA, and that’s fine with us. Ellie summed it up: “Good for them– it’s pretty much everyone’s IPA. In 2018, that’s actually pretty high praise.
Value — Good. About seven bucks for an American “pint.” Guinness knows what they’ve got here both in terms of the beer and the extraordinary ambiance. They’ve invested a small fortune in turning this warehouse into a destination brewery and you’re going to have to help them with the mortgage.
This week we present our first Brewery of the Week with seven fine beers from Guinness– most brewed in their spanking new Baltimore location, but a couple of Irish pots of gold as well.
After Guinness we return to HIGHLIGHTS OF EUROPE– Surprisingly good beer in “bad beer cities.” The best we’ve found in researching our next book – a guide to great beer in European tourist cities. (Planned publication 2019.) We’ll shift back to great American beer finds next week.
Later in November, we return to the US to highlight some great American craft beers, some of which we’ve found in researching out first US Beer publication: Brews and Snooze-– Breweries you can visit and walk back to a fine place to spend the night. Look for it in 2019.
About these posts: We taste and evaluate over a thousand beers every year. The beers posted here rank in the top quarter of those tastings. Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.