There has been some great beer brewed in Baltimore over the last two decades or so. For many years, craft beer included Hugh Sisson’s Clipper City (now Heavy Seas) as well as The Brewers Art, and DeGroen’s, which was unceremoniously erased from Baltimore’s memory 10 years ago by a bulldozer.
In recent years, several more breweries have popped up around town, and with them has come more great beer.
When Baltimore Magazine released the results of their 2017 Reader’s Choice Poll in July, the winner could have easily gone to any one of a number of breweries. Instead, it went to two.
Union Craft Brewing has been making amazing beer for the last several years. However the other, Goonda Beersmiths, is relatively new – and doesn’t even have a tasting room!
Tim Scouten and Rahul Cherian started Goonda, literally, in the back of another brewery – Peabody Heights, where they work during the day contract brewing everyone else’s beer. The small setup where they brew their Goonda recipes has since gained them notoriety around town for producing some amazing, one-off beers.
So when the two breweries tied, they decided to collaborate on a beer to celebrate the occasion. The resulting beer is Extra! Extra!, a triple dry—hopped IPA.
The beer pours as a nice, clear gold beer with great carbonation. And with an alcohol content of 7.7% ABV, it’s within the range of a solid IPA.
When I read that it was hopped with over 2 lbs per barrel of Idaho 7 (fruity with some pine) & Citra hops (fruity), I expected this one to be, well, extra extra bitter. It’s not.
You get some initial bitterness, but it quickly disappears and you get the grapefruit and pine flavors really popping out. It’s all balanced out by great bready, slightly sweet maltiness that you notice in the finish.
Admittedly, I’m a bit of a Union fanboy, but this one was really good, and I hope it ends up being put in regular rotation.
Definitely one for the IPA fans and beer nerds, but pungent enough that if you fall into the, “I don’t like IPAs,” category, you may want to give it a pass.
So while there may not have been a winner in the readers poll, when a beer this good comes out of it, it makes all of us winners.