This beer isn’t nearly as complicated as Bittersweet Lenny’s, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be. It’s a hoppy and malty IPA, one lacking the sweetness of a sharp IPA, but very balanced.
That’s a very interesting thing about a Brewery, to me. Schmaltz clearly likes to play around with their beers. On one hand, they can knock it out of the park with a solid, crazy rye beer. It’s the Cecil Fielder of beers, an all or nothing swing that succeeds and is beautiful.
Then it can step back and be Wade Boggs (sorry, I’m in a 1996 Yankees mode). And that’s what Hop Manna is. It’s a big IPA, a double to the gap. It’s the beer you fall back on any time you need a hit. It’s solid, tasty and great.
The smell is all hops, with a hint of citrus (and I don’t know enough, but I wonder if that comes from the Citra hops they used). The first part of the sip is smooth and malty like a lager. The hops don’t kick in until the final bite.
It’s a solid, very good beer. One I’d buy for the rest of the summer, when I’m planning to hang out and just have a beer. It’s not special, it’s not something to save for a great occasion. It’s just a beer to drink while eating a hot dog.
And a damn good one.
And isn’t that what we’re all looking for on Memorial Day weekend?