Right away I was pleased to find several varieties of hops growing outside, climbing up the twine towards the sunlight. That's local hop production right there.
|Zeus hops right out front|
We ordered a quick sampler and discovered several very interesting beers (from left to right)...
- White Thai - One of Westbrook's two year-round, canned offerings, this beer is a spin on the Belgian Wit. Rather than coriander and orange-peel, White Thai is made with lemongrass and ginger. A modest dose of Sorachi Ace hops keeps this one at 16 IBUs -- a good summer beer.
- Stillwater Premium - This was actually a guest beer from rogue brewer Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales. He travels and brews at different breweries around the world, including Westbrook. Premium is a "Post Prohibition style" ale made with adjuncts of corn and rice. It's well-hopped and fermented with farmhouse yeast and two strains of Brettanomyces, creating a truly unique brew.
- Grätzer - Another very unusual sud. While it doesn't look much different from a common pilsner, a Grätzer is a very low ABV, smoked wheat beer of German/Polish origin. Westbrook's version is made with a grain bill of 90% oak-smoked wheat malt. Along with the smoke, I picked up on tropical flavors of mango and pineapple. It comes out to just 3.4% ABV.
- Pacific Jade - This rye pale ale is part of Westbrook's Single Hop series, where the base recipe stays the same, but the type of hop changes for each edition. Pacific Jade is a hop variety from New Zealand known for its citrus and black pepper characteristics.
- IPA - The second of Westbrook's canned beers, the IPA is probably the most familiar style on the line up.
- Vanilla Tree Dubbel - A Belgian Dubbel, brewed with caramel malts and Belgian candi sugar, then aged on vanilla beans and toasted oak. It reminded me of a vanilla latte with a shot of Jack.
- Covert Hops - This Black IPA has a lot going on -- roasted malt flavors, but a light body; four varieties of hops for great complexity, but at 45 IBUs its still relatively sessionable.