Beer lovers, connoisseurs, and everyone in between can step away from their stockpiled bottles and kegs of Christmas Ale in favor of a brand new, never-before-tasted offering from the brewers of our favorite “Christmas Crack!”
Cleveland’s beloved Great Lakes Brewing Company recently released its latest seasonal brew, the surf-inspired Alchemy Hour Double IPA, which already has our North Coast surf bums (or bum) completely stoked.
Alchemy Hour is West Coast surfer slang used to describe that “perfect time of day, when the waves are breaking just right and it feels like you can ride forever.” It's akin to the magic hour so loved by photographers.
That flow-tastic experience may be nothing more than a pipedream here on the North Coast, but at least it can be found in a bottle or on tap for the rest of us to enjoy.
“We're excited to add such a unique beer to our family,” shares Marissa DeSantis of GLBC. “We've talked for a while about creating a beer in honor of Cleveland's surfers, and one of our brewers happens to surf Lake Erie.”
Alchemy Hour has been available on tap at GLBC’s Ohio City Brewpub only since yesterday, February 7 — and it will not be sold in bottles until February 15 in the GLBC gift shop. It will not hit distribution channels until Monday, February 18.
Cleveland — and Ohio City — is fast becoming a craft-beer Mecca thanks to breweries like Great Lakes, Market Garden, and many others. With so many fantastic options, how does a new brew like Alchemy Hour stand out?
“This beer is special because it's brewed with Mosaic hops, a very new hop variety that provides a unique blend of tropical, earthy notes," adds DeSantis. "Combined with the resiny flavors of Simcoe hops and the citrus notes of Cascade hops, we've created a very complex beer that hopheads will love."
Honey and caramel malts are used in the brew to balance the hoppiness and provide a sweeter backbone. The beer is brewed with Harrington 2-Row Base Malt, which allows color and flavor from other specialty malts to come through. The caramel 45 malt contributes color and complexity while the honey malt contributes sweetness.
"Even though it clocks in at 9.4%, it doesn't have the alcohol 'heat' that you might expect," says DeSantis.
Alchemy Hour’s style is distinctly that of an American IPA, although it differs from the traditional thanks to its heartier, hoppier flavor and higher alcohol content. This ultimately creates a very strong and flavorful drinking experience.
The experience may not be as extreme as donning a wetsuit on the shores of Lake Erie in sub-freezing temps, but how many of us have the stones to try that anyway?
As for pairings: This tasty brew pairs well with hearty winter dishes such as smoked beef brisket and grilled lamb, as well as sharp cheeses and sweet deserts.
“We simply can't wait for people to taste this beer,” DeSantis exclaimed!
As with all seasonals, it's available for a limited time only.
With reporting by Paul Rados.