Brewing All Stars #2: Barley and Hops FSK IPA
Date: July 15 , 2019 —
The Story— Yesterday we sang the praises of Harry Grove Stadium where nearly 40 craft beers vie for the attention of five or six thousand people on a good night. The day after the game, though, we usually make a quick stop at one of the myriad of breweries in Frederick to see what they’re up to.
This stop at Barley and Hops was a quick, not-quite-emergency stop to avoid a torrential rainstorm that was threatening to wash away I-270. We sat at the bar and watched the weather radar confirm how lucky we were not to be on the road.
Barley & Hops was one of the pioneers in Frederick and was brewing long before the current explosion. They serve a dependably good meal and a good range of beers. In truth, though, their beers have varied some over the years as brewers have come and gone. New management seems to have stabilized both food and drink, though. Good IPAs aren’t exactly rare, but neither are they automatic. We were more than grateful to be able to sip on this all star during the rain delay.
The Beer– Caramel with a hint of toffee in the mostly pale malt. Metallic hops and ripe fruit lead to an herbal finish. Chewy and rich with a long lasting bitter that’s quite welcome in this big beer. Ellie agreed it was their best on that day.
Value — Excellent. Four bucks for an actual pint is indeed a steal for this beer. I’d find a way to enjoy a far lesser beer at this price, but this was no “lesser beer.” OK it was happy hour, but even at regular prices it’s six bucks and that’s a better than good value.
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.
It’s All-Star season. MLB has finished theirs, but it seems like a new sport is showcasing exceptional talent almost every day. So we’ll be presenting our own all-star brewing line up. We don’t claim to present– or even know– what the best beers in America are, but out of the hundred or so that we taste every month, some are indeed special. For the second couple of weeks in July, we’ll share some recent standouts in a very crowded craft beer field. .
We’re often asked to share our tasting notes on over 33,000 beers; this blog is in answer to those requests. Not all our notes, though. The great beer writer Michael Jackson admirably followed the Thumper Rule, and we’ll try to do the same. (“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.”) All the beers we post are from the top half of our ratings and most are from the top quarter. Of greater value, we think, are the stories behind the beers, and we try to give you enough about the brewery, the style and the places to find great beer to help you on your own beer journeys. At CulturAle Press we try to write books and publish posts that will help you “Drink Well and Travel Safely.”