The other night I was watching an episode of Shark Tank with my wife. In this show, entrepreneurs go before a panel of “Sharks” (business investors) in search of funding in exchange for a share in their business. In this episode, a representative of MobCraft Brewing went before the sharks looking for money to build a brewery (they contract out right now).
One of the sharks, Kevin O’Leary, is nicknamed Mr. Wonderful, and he has a reputation for being direct and even rude. He told the Mobcraft guy he was silly for wanting to build a brewery when there is so much extra capacity out there in existing breweries. He kept going on and on about this and was arrogantly asserting how right he was.
Well Mr. Wonderful, you may know business, but when it comes to beer, you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground. Craft beer drinkers are a fickle lot, and they will often eschew contract brewed beer in favor of brewers with an actual brewery of their own.
Now that I’ve told my story, you’re probably wondering what it has to do with Beltway Hansel Sour IPA. Not a lot really, except that if the fine folks at Mobcraft want to take Mr. Wonderful up on his advice, they could do worse than to contact Beltway and hook up with them to brew a few batches. Beltway seems more interested in recruiting contract brewers than they do touting their own beers on their website. They have an entire section about partnering with would -be brewers, but they are the first brewery website I have ever come across that says nothing of their own beers.
I found this very strange, especially because if Beltway Hansel Sour IPA is any indication, their beers are definitely worth celebrating. This beer is like a breath of fresh air, a fusion of the IPA and wild ale/sour styles. I truly love such innovation, and this one gets high marks from me for that reason.
From the label:
We’re pretty sure there’s nothing more to life than making really, really, ridiculously good beer. We weren’t like every other kid, you know, who dreams about being an astronaut. We were more interested in what bark was made out of on a tree. We could have built a center for people who can’t read good, but we built a brewery instead to make really, really ridiculously good beer.
But for serious, we care desperately about what we do. This beer is no different. It’s not just an IPA, it’s not just a sour. We hear words like “hoppy” and “handsomeness” and “sour” and “incredibly chiseled features”. To balance the tartness we feature an array of hops including Falconer’s Flight, Huell Melon, and yes, even Magnum made an appearance. We wanted to make an ambi-turner of a beer that has more than one look. We give you…”Hansel”.
Because sour beers are so hot right now.
Beltway Hansel Sour IPA has an alcohol content of 7% by volume. It’s not sold here in Georgia, but I got a can from the ever generous Chuck Triplett.
Beltway Hansel Sour IPA pours to a murky orange color with a thick head of creamy pillowy foam and a truly sour nose peppered with hints of citrus. Taking a sip, the beer is smooth malty up front, perhaps with a hint of caramel but the decided sour tart notes (think cherry pits) quickly dominates. The hops have a hard time keeping up here, but they’re generally citric-lemony (the Falconers Flight I think, complementing the sourness) and a tad grassy herbal bitter (the Magnums). Excellent beer, I love every drop and the interplay of bitter and sour.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.