Cottonwood Endo IPA
Review Date 5/29/2002
Most people are
far from single minded in their lives, and they often have more than one
hobby. Life is too diverse to restrict oneself to one leisure pursuit, even
if you do make an occupation of one of your passions. Don Richardson,
brewer of Cottonwood Endo India Pale Ale, salutes such individuals
with his wonderfully floral, firm and malty IPA.
Specifically, Endo India Pale Ale is a beer the most discriminating hophead would enjoy, but it is also dedicated to the Cottonwood Mountain Bike Race Team. In that spirit, the label sports a medieval-looking character holding a tankard in one hand, several stalks of barley in another, and wearing a bicycle helmet upon his head.
Beer and cycling do make a great combo (as long as the beer comes after the ride, of course). I don’t bicycle myself, though I’ve toyed with the idea, but I do know that a cold pilsner is a wonderful restorative and relaxant after a brisk 5-mile evening walk. I’m sure it would have the same effect after a lengthy ride.
I recall a few years ago when drinking a pint at Philadelphia’s Standard Tap an invasion of the pub a group of English cyclists. They were seeing America by bike and of course, stopping off here and there for a pint or two. They would have been right at home at the Cottonwood Brewery in Boone, North Carolina.
The name “Endo” came from a mountain bike term that means “over the handle bars”. It’s an apt choice for this over the top India Pale Ale, brewed loosely in the Pacific Northwest vein of aggressive hopping rates. It is also dry hopped, meaning that it is conditioned on hops, not just boiled with them. This tends to add more floral hop character to a beer.
A few years ago, brewing ceased at Cottonwood in Boone, though it appears the restaurant end of the operation is still going. But don’t panic. Brewer Richardson moved his beers to the Carolina Beer & Beverage Company, where they are produced today.
Cottonwood Endo India Pale Ale pours to a bright orange color with a medium and rather fizzy head formation and a citric hoppy nose. The body is firm and malty with an assertive fruitiness, chewy caramel, and delicate, flowery hop notes. The finish becomes increasingly bitter and lingers slightly on the tongue. A very nice IPA that begs to be served with spicy food.
I enjoyed it with spicy roast goat meat, fried plantains, and spicy African style rice.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.