Beer

I think we’ve established that we have a great love of wine. After all, The Urban Grape is a wine store first and foremost. But when you’ve been tasting wine all day, the first thing you want to do when you get home is crack open a tasty, ice cold…beer. Yup, that’s the dirty little secret of the wine loving community! But we hold the beer in our store to the same high standards as our wine – great flavor, affordability, and that certain something special. And being that we live in New England, home of the great craft beer, we are fortunate to feature many fantastic local beers throughout the year.  (And yes, we do beer tastings too!)

Here are some of our favorite craft beers at the store right now:

Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA (very limited)

 

Pours thick, opaque and black with a deep brown head of foam. Resinous, piney hops hit first on the aromatics, followed by healthy doses of roasted malt flavors, including coffee, anise and cocoa. The multi-layered aroma profile presents a challenge: is this an Imperial IPA, or is this an Imperial Stout? Tasting answers the question, it’s an Imperial Black IPA, with intense herbal and piney hops and a great balance of roasted malt flavors. The beer is full bodied, with a touch of alcohol heat, and the hops are upfront all the way through the palate, finishing with an intense bitter linger. The roasted malt comes through more like cocoa in the taste, and balances fantastically with the hops and the alcohol on the aftertaste.

Jason Fields and Kevin Sheppard/Troegs/Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout (very limited)

 

The taste is that of a very smooth stout, with an intense tart cherry beginning and a cocoa smoothness dominating throughout the palate. The tartness from the cherries balances out the smooth sweetness, and the addition of cacao and vanilla beans add intricate layers of chocolate and vanilla to the flavor profile. Definitely a beer to savor slowly and evaluate as it warms and changes in your glass.”

Ommegang Aphrodite (Limited Edition)

 

Limited Edition Aphrodite Ale is ethereal, intriguing and mysterious – as the Goddess Aphrodite must have been. Aphrodite has champagne-like carbonation, much as the foam of the waves of the sea. Plus enchanting flavors with whispers of raspberry and pear, and hints of funk and tartness created by the Brett yeast. The refreshing dryness comes from the unusual combination of Ommegang and Brett yeasts, and incites feelings of love and thirst, though we don’t know about lust. Grains of paradise are infused into the nectar, and when poured, Aphrodite is crowned with a luxuriously shimmering rose-pink head.

Dogfish Head/Sierra Nevada Life & Limb Ale

 

Life & Limb is a 10% ABV strong, dark beer that defies style characteristics- brewed with pure maple syrup from the Calagione family farm in Massachusetts and estate barley grown on the Grossman “farm” at the brewery in Chico, CA. The beer is alive with yeast-a blend of both breweries’ house strains-bottle conditioned for added complexity and shelf life, and naturally carbonated with birch syrup fresh from Alaska.

Backlash Groundswell Belgian Style Blond Ale

 

Brewed with 4 different varieties of malt, Groundswell has a light golden color and smooth mouth-feel. Subtle yet complex flavor components include pilsner malt sweetness, fruity yeast esters and citrus notes from the addition of Indian coriander.

Ballast Point Sculpin India Pale Ale

 

Bright with aromas of apricot, peach, mango and lemon. It’s a lighter bodied I.P.A. which helps bring out the delicious crispness of the hops.