Far From India: India Pale Ales in the 21st Century. Quattro Goomba’s IMA7, Aldie, Va.
Date: March 22, 2019
The Story— Yesterday we featured an experimental hop. Today’s IPA features an experimental hop that’s gone viral – for so many good reasons.
Quattro Goomba’s — sort of “four goofy guys” brewery in rural Virginia has produced good beers for its several years — they spent enough money on their brewery to brew well. But they’ve really come into their own since the kettles have been commanded by the first class brewer Chris Jacques (pronounced “Jakes”). He’s been a magician of malt and hops since we first encountered him in Connecticut working in a thankless position in a John Harvard brew pub that was, perhaps, the gem of the chain due to his contributions.
On to Ornery for Chris — where he produced superb beers and left a legacy by training Fernando Macadoo to continue to produce exceptional Ornery Ales. A brief sojourn elsewhere brought him to Quatro Goombas. We’ve loved the QG people since our first visit, but couldn’t understand how they lured this top tier brewer to, umm, low tier Aldie until we visited the brewery recently. A sparking brew house has given Chris plenty of room to play and produce one of the widest ranges of beers in the Loudoun county hotbed of brewing.
Like Hamilton, he has not wasted his shot. You could, in Michael Jackson’s words, “bathe in” many of his creations, but the IMA7, featuring the Idaho 7, one of our favorite hops, blew me away and didn’t leave Ellie far behind. The Idaho 7 was recently an experimental hops — hence the number– but it’s proved so rich, spicy and dank it’s become a a go to hop for it’s dank, fruity and herbal complexity. So many breweries now feature it in their names and labels that we’re pretty sure it’s stuck with its experimental name.
The Beer— Big full body – clean pale malt and lots of it, yet it strains to hold the hop rush. Big and Dank! Some resin with late spice that includes some black pepper. Pine, spice, dark fruit oh my! Ellie found it “totally imbalanced but so professional” and if you’re not familiar with this blog –or with her– that’s very high praise..
Value — Very good to excellent. Go there, drink there. Uber somewhere back to a hotel.
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.