Southern Tier IPA ***

Enjoyed at my Dad's poker table which is only fitting for my first IPA back home.

(6.9% American make from 12 oz bottle) The IPA style was a common one for me on my trip home this Christmas, with the Southern Tier IPA being my first purchase taken from a variety pack. The Southern Tier Brewery is named after its location in the state of New York, with the southern tier region being defined as that west of the Catskills with borders on the northern tier of Pennsylvania (my home state but miles away from where I am from).  Upon gazing at the impressive variety of beers that they have to offer on their website, and the impressive growth of the organization after having only been founded 5 years ago, I would say that this is one to keep an eye on.  The variety pack I purchased was for their pale ales, but looking at the others they have on their website I wish that my local distributor had more on offer from them.

As is the case (no pun intended) with the great state of Pennsylvania, beer distributors (not those zoned as restaurants for take away) can only sell beer in cases of 24 bottles (or 12 of the larger bottles – say a Chimay 750ml) as the smallest unit of purchase.  So, going for the local variety pack is much recommended so as to get the most diversity, this compared to buying a whole case of one type of beer, and hell they are just more fun. This is a subject which I am going to research a bit more about, and write in an upcoming blog to cover the beers I bought at Wegman’s, which in a landmark case, won at the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court the right to sell beer on their premises. But more to come on that… now to the beer!

This pack in particular was decent, and overall I would say recommended though nothing that knocked my socks off.  The IPA was copper colored with a faint white dusting.  The taste was that of American hops – strong hops – with a dry, sweet taste and a consistent bubble.  All in all, a pretty standard IPA which was crisp, hoppy,  queching, and best served cold.

In the coming weeks, I am going to be posting about the wonderful variety of micro brewery beers I enjoyed over the holidays, and more about how bizarre the state of Pennsylvania is with its liquor laws. Also, I am looking to update this blog a bit, adding links to other interesting blogs like the Belgian Beer Odyssey (one man’s adventure to 1000 Belgian beers – Napolean was modest in comparison), amongst other treats.

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