Shipyard XXXX IPAAnother crazy week. Not only did my anthology, The Book of Cthulhu, make it onto the Locus Magazine 2011 Recommended Reading List (Anthologies, Reprint), but it also got onto the 42nd Annual Locus Awards Ballot (Best Anthology).

So tonight I’m pouring a celebratory Shipyard Brewing Company Pugsley’s Signature Series XXXX IPA. A “non-traditional American IPA” that is “best drunk at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.” And let’s face it, there’s always something fun about Portland vs. Portland.

XXXX pours pale amber with a few-millimeter-thick white-orange head. Cloud animals and dragons frolic in the lacing. Hoppy on the nose: herbed, buttered biscuits and blood orange marmalade. Bitter on the tongue: sour malt, toasted hops, and cherry brandy. Piney middle, tough and bitter against the back of one’s throat. Alcohol poorly hides behind a velvet curtain; big bulge, shoes visible. Medium body and carbonation. Florals and perfumes emerge as it warms. Raisins, resin, and dry, bitter orange finish. Tempting to treat it like a session beer, but packs a wallop (wrapped in an orange peel).

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