Manor Hill Brewing
Ellicott City, MD
When I buy a beer named Citra Splendor, I have certain expectations that it is going to be citrusy. Like, it’s right in the name. So I can happily report that Citra Splendor delivers on my expectations. Though, to be honest, this is a very odd beer. The aroma of clementines and the taste of tangy orange juice is tasty, to be sure, but it’s almost like Manor Hill has made a parody of over-hopped American pale ales. But I have to admit I liked its audaciousness. And its bitter, pithy aftertaste. It’s different, but different is pretty good.
Union Craft Brewing
Double Duckpin Double IPA
A friend of mine once said, “Son, bowling has its own tavern, snack shop, and arcade. That’s how awesome bowling is.” I believe in these troubled times, that is a message that can unite us.
Ah, but what kind of bowling? Duckpin bowling is a thing in Baltimore. Apparently, duckpin bowling was also a thing up in New England when I was growing up there, but to be honest, it was never on my radar screen because my family was a candlepin bowling family. I lived walking distance to a candlepin alley (R.I.P. Thunderbird Bowl) and my grandmother even appeared on Candlepins for Cash, the Boston equivalent of Bowling for Dollars.
But since I’ve lived in Maryland, my family and I have found ourselves in White Oak Duckpin Lanes on a reasonably frequent basis. And since beer and bowling make natural bedfellows, there was no way I wasn’t going to snag some Double Duckpin Double IPA when I had the chance.
It has a sour aroma, which I mean as a compliment. The flavor was surprisingly mild for something that promised IPA in all its IPA glory. It is hoppy without citrus gimmickry. It is creamy, and fills my mouth with toasty, herbaceous flavors. It has a sharp bitter finish, but it also mellows out and gets smoother the more you drink it. I had high hopes for this and those hopes were met. It is a really tasty beer.