June 30, 2011

Norfolk, VA: O'Connor's El Guapo IPA (with Agave) and Red Nun

I couldn't resist the temptation to try a beer made with agave nectar, so I braved some awful traffic to check out this O'Connor Brewing Company release party last night at Cogan's Pizza in Norfolk, Virginia.  Situated on one of the city's nicer corners, Cogan's is a funky spot with red walls, a gold ceiling, and B-movie art all over.  The place was packed with all kinds of people who had come to check out the local brewery's new concoction, from hipsters with tattoos to young professionals with babies in tow.  Guys were tossing pizza dough non-stop behind the bar.

The El Guapo IPA proved to be a solid brew.  Orange in color, it had a floral aroma, with a hint of lemon.  It tasted just a little sweet - the agave was there, but if you didn't know any better I don't think you'd notice it.  It was a tasty IPA - not over-the-top and just a little smokey.

While I was at it, I tried O'Connor's Red Nun (5.5% ABV, 35 IBUs), an Irish Red somewhat in the vein of Killian's.  The Red Nun had a deep red color with a thick head and a vanilla aroma.  It was more malty and sweet than hoppy, with a creamy feel to it that went down smooth.  There was a hint of smoke and a little orange that made this a pleasantly complex brew.

Maybe it was just the agave talking, but traffic didn't seem as bad on the drive home.