I talked about this beer early last week. It was a beer I’d had once at a bar, and loved. I spent the rest of the summer trying to track it down. Hearing rumors that only 1 caseload had been shipped to New Jersey, I hunted around for it, but with no luck.
I follow Schlafly and Hunterdon (their NJ distributor) on Twitter, and immediately began to find out more about them. Turned out Schlafly’s American IPA is a early summer release only. Which meant I’d missed it’s debut last year. And I’d have to wait until now to find it.
Like Ahab, I waited. And then April rolled around, and low and behold, there were some Twitter mentions of the AIPA. Is it coming out soon? One of my search party came across their Export IPA, a good beer, but not the white whale.
And then two weeks ago, Hunterdon tweeted that the AIPA was a new release. I called my local liquor store. They told me to call back. When I did, they didn’t have it. I tweeted at Hunterdon and they replied with three liquor stores relatively close to me. I called the first one… No luck. The second said they had it and would put it aside.
I was stoked. Right when work got out, I took the half hour ride to the store. Walked it, hunted down a manager. Who found the guy I talked to on the phone. Who then informed me that he’d put the Export IPA aside. He’d only heard the “IPA” part of the conversation, despite the fact that I’d specifically said “NOT THE EXPORT. THE AMERICAN.” Maybe I had bad reception.
I was down.
I was out.
Schlafly was going to escape my grasp. I checked my Twitter reply from Hunterdon and saw the last place, the one I hadn’t called, was only ten minutes from where I was. I called them.
And they had it.
Tonight, on Memorial Day weekend (yes, this post was written a few days ago), I opened it. And it was glorious.
It pours golden, with a thick white head. The odor is piny, much like the Hoptimum from earlier in the week. The citrus flavor is sharp and prominent throughout the sip. The mouthfeel is light. Perfect for a BBQ, though the alcohol is a little high to make it a session beer.
And though slightly bitter, the beer ends with a perfect syrupy sweet finish.
The quest for my first white whale was a success. Worth every penny.
I will be enjoying this beer for as long as possible.
Mm. Mm. Mm.