I don’t like to throw the word “drinkable” around a lot, mostly because bigger breweries have centered massive advertising campaigns around that word in the past. In the minds of Madison Avenue executives, “drinkability,” is actually a buzz word to let consumers know that flavors are watered down enough to the point where you can feel safe ordering their beer without having to worry about something offending your delicate sensibilities. Hyde IPA by RAR Brewing is exceptionally drinkable, but not in the way Don Draper would like you to believe.
Being a prideful Maryland transplant who now lives in San Diego, it warms the cockles of my hop-filled heart to see the growth of the craft beer scene in the Free State, and RAR is one of the operations leading the charge to wean Marylanders off of National Bohemian. Over the last few months, I’ve come across cans of some of their beers in exchanges with friends, but I hadn’t been able to visit their tasting room until the recent triple release of Hyde, Pulp and Puck Face in June. The scene for that event was nothing short of a party, as a huge line of people engaged in a massive bottle share in plain view of law enforcement, which would never happen in California. Advantage: Maryland.
Opening the can and decanting into a tulip glass, the floral and citrus hop aroma wafts up while you pour this deep orange brew. It settles into the glass nicely with a white head that could probably hang around a little longer. The first sip is predominantly citra hops with a malt profile that’s just sweet enough to keep everything balanced, and THAT is what I mean by “drinkable.” Just a great American IPA that doesn’t go too far overboard in any single aspect.
Style: American IPA
Brewery: RAR Brewing
City: Cambridge, Md