Wednesday, November 27, 2013

One for the Books - Meeting Gerhart

There comes a time when you just gotta write something down.  Maybe it was something that someone said to you... a quote.  A piece of advice.  Something that struck a chord with you.  Then there are those times when something happens and you don't want to forget what that moment felt like.  When my friend Chris, the GM of Backstage: Eat, Drink Live told me about an upcoming event - I could tell by the excitement in his voice that this... this just wasn't your run-of-the-mill Tap Takeover or beer-themed event.  No, no... THIS was THE event.   Potentially one for the books.

Chris began telling me about this BRAND new collaboration between two Vermont Breweries that was turning (hop)heads left and right.  A collaboration between Sean Lawson of Lawson's Finest Liquids and up and coming Brewmaster Mike Gerhart of Otter Creek.  They called their beer Double Dose IPA, which as you could probably guess is a Double IPA.  They used locally sourced ingredients from both breweries (hops, barley) right down to infusing each of the different water sources and creating a mutant yeast! To get a little more insight into this collab, check out their YouTube clip: The Making of Double Dose IPA.

Chris continued to tell me that the beer started to get rave reviews up North.  Brew pubs went through keg after keg and bottles flew off the shelves.  Luckily, CT was able to get a FEW bottles (if you knew someone), but bottomline, it was extremely hard to come by.  

Ok, that's great, but why was Chris telling me all about this new beer?  Here's where things started to get exciting.

Fortunately, one of the Long Trail/Otter Creek reps in CT (Joe), not only scored Chris a keg of Double Dose IPA... but, he locked up, the ONLY keg of Double Dose IPA in CT.  

But wait, there's more.

And it just so happens that 1/2 of the collab, Brewmaster Mike Gerhart, was available to make his FIRST CT appearance at the restaurant!!  In summary:  Double Dose IPA... delicious, getting rave reviews... scoring the ONLY keg of Double Dose IPA in CT at Backstage... freakin awesome... including a Meet and Greet with Mike Gerhart... ridiculously awesome!!

Alright enough hype... let's get down to potentially the reason you clicked on this link.  HOW'S THE BEER?!

On the pour, it had a hazy yellow color with a slight orange hue to it.  Fluffy pillowy head that slowly dissipated but certainly hugged the sides of the glass resulting in some great lacing.

If you are an IPA fan, (and if you've ordered this drink, chances you are), the nose is intoxicating.  Huge citrus, piney smells.  Orange peel - lots of tropical fruits.  The taste?  Well, don't mind if I do...

There is a symphony of flavors coming from this.  Flavors that back up those fantastic tropical smells (orange, grapefruit, pineapple) along with some balanced bitterness and a solid pine presence.  Even some nice floral notes as well.  Basically, there's a party in your mouth and everyone is having a great time.

This was truly a treat... to drink a beer of THIS quality WITH one of the Brewmasters... Wow.  To make the night that much better, an old friend of mine, DJ also came out to show his support. At one point in the night, we had an opportunity to speak with Mike Gerhart one-on-one... what a guy!!  Completely down to earth, personable, inviting.  While we spoke DJ and I admitted that we haven't visited the Otter Creek brewery yet... but let's just say, as soon as they whisked Mike away to speak with more people, we already started on our plans for a trip up North.

Sadly, I didn't get around to writing this post as quickly as I wanted to following the Double Dose / Gerhart event.  There's a good chance that the Double Dose IPA is no longer available.  BUT, if you happen to come across a bottle or two - BUY IT IMMEDIATELY.

Thank you to EVERYONE that made this event what it was.  Chris, Bob, Joe - it was a blast!!  Mr. Lawson and Mr. Gerhart... you have outdone yourselves.  On behalf of everyone that enjoys delicious beer, thank you both... and please do this again.  Certainly one for the books.