Today is Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, the culmination of the Mardi Gras celebratory period. For Roman Catholics and many other Christians, this is the last day to feast and enjoy a beer or two before 40 days of the fasting and prayer before Lent commences on Ash Wednesday. For many others, it’s just one heck of a party. Peaks and Pints is guessing many of you won’t be taking a 40 days respite from craft brew quaffing, but hey, might as well act like you are and enjoy Fat Tuesday a little. Here’s our Craft Beer Crosscut 2.28.17: A Flight of Fat Tuesday.
Throw on a bikini top, drop the beads around your neck and toss back Evin Twin‘s cross between a hop cone and a lemon. The aromatics are a truly beautiful blend of straight-up citrus, primarily lemon and tangerine, backed up by very fresh, green, grassiness. Low in alcohol, spritzy, tart, refreshing, citrusy and chuggable, it’s the perfect way to start our Mardi Gras parade.
4.2% ABV, 13 IBU
It’s that time of the year for Abita Brewing. Located 30 miles north of New Orleans, Abita donned the Mardi Gras beads and fired up the mash tun in 1986, making it the oldest craft brewery in the southeastern United States. Our Mardi Gras parade continues on the lighter side with Abita’s Purple Haze, an American wheat ale with fresh raspberries added during secondary fermentation. The berries lend the brew a subtle purple tinge along with a fruity aroma and a sweet, tart taste. ‘Scuse us while we kiss the sky!
8.5% ABV, 15 IBU
Originally named Extreme Polar White Bier, Midnight Sun co-founder Barb Miller nicknamed it “Panty Peeler” after her free spirited and loving life attitude. In French, it translates to E’pluche-culotte, although that might also mean pantyhose. We digress. This candy-sweet tripel’s nose emits plenty of tingly clove and allspice bordered by Belgian yeast-derived bubblegum; the same clove and bubblegum coast over a white bread malt backbone on the tongue. Bottle conditioning creates the right effervescence for a perfectly heady experience.
5.3% ABV, 28 IBU
A fan of the metal pun, Ninkasi’s co-founder Jamie Floyd called his German-style helles lager Helles Belles, startling the fans of Sleigh’r and Maiden the Shade. Yes, Helles Belles is a bit of a departure from the super-hoppy beers the Eugene, Oregon brewery is better known for. It rocks a light toasted malt taste, along with hints of lemon, creamy marshmallow and sweet sugar rock candy. Expect a lingering earthiness, and sweet sugary pilsner malt in the aftertaste.
5.6% ABV, 28 IBU
Let’s end this parade back at Abita. Turbodog is a dark English brown ale brewed with a mix of pale, crystal and chocolate malts, dry-hopped with Willamette then fermented with German Alt yeast. This party begins with some dark chocolate notes, then the bubbles take over and turns our palate upside down. We get hit with the coffee at the tail end — as if a pile of ground coffee rests on our tongues. Delicious, light body craft beer? Indeed. Turbo? No so much.