Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ghost Ship, Big Buck and the IPAs at O’Marro’s

A quartet of beer here, let’s unpack the party at O’Marro’s first.

Tomorrow evening (Friday, May 9), O’Marro’s Public House will kick off the weekend with a couple of limited edition IPA tappings. At 7 p.m., they’ll tap into kegs of 3 Sheeps Nimble Lips, Noble Tongue Vol. 1 and Southern Tier 2XONE. The 3 Sheeps beer is an oak-aged IPA that gets a final addition hops just before it goes into the beer barrel. Next to that will be 2XONE, an 8.1% SMASH (single malt, single hop) beer that’s loaded with mosaic hops. These are a couple of rare beers, so taste them while you can.

More IPA! Ghost Ship White IPA by Capital Brewery landed at Festival Foods in Oshkosh at the end of April. This is an odd-ball beer and it's quite good. Ghost Ship is a mash up of a Belgian whit with an American IPA. You get just what you’d expect from the whit end of things: the beer is pale and cloudy, with a lot of citrus and spice in the nose. Then come the hops. The beer has a juicy, lemony flavor that marries nicely to the whit-beer base. There’s enough bitterness here to please a hop head, but it fades from the tongue almost before you’ve set the glass down; making for a surprisingly clean finish. A tasty, interesting beer and at 5.6% you can enjoy a couple without being too altered. Capital says they’ll be canning this beer come May, which would make this a good choice for outdoor drinking as the weather warms.

Enough of the hops, already. Big Buck Brown Ale from Black Husky Brewing is another surprising beer. Ostensibly an American brown ale, this goes in a whole other direction with the addition of maple syrup. It looks like a brown ale with its deep-red hue and tan crown of foam, but the aroma tips you off that there’s more than a brown in the offing. Fumes of sweet caramel, toffee and maple come drifting up. The flavor is rich with malt and just slightly sweet with a creamy mouthfeel that reminded me of a Belgian dubbel. In fact, the more of this I drank, the more I started picking up on that dubbel aspect. It has some of those same raisiny, dried-fruit flavors that you encounter in a dubbel along with a similarly dry finish. This is an excellent beer. At 8% ABV it’s not too big, but certainly big enough. The only place to get this anywhere around here is at Gardina’s in Oshkosh where in the packaged beer section 22 oz. bombers are going for the nice price of $6.99. Can’t beat that!

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