Vermont has become a haven for innovative microbreweries, and one of the founders of this movement is Magic Hat brewing company, which has been brewing in South Burlington since 1994. Magic Hat brews popular year-round beers, such as their ubiquitous #9, as well as seasonals and single batch beers. With the growing popularity of microbrews in general and of the IPA style in particular Magic Hat began their IPA on tour series. Available in 6-packs and variety 12-packs the IPA on tour series shows the range of the style, using different malts, varieties of hops and yeast strains to make very different beers that all fit somewhere in the IPA style. One of the newest members of the IPA on tour pantheon is Ticket to Rye, a rye IPA. When done correctly, the use of rye as an adjunct grain in hop-forward ales provides a spicy note to the malt that complements the bitterness of the hops.
Ticket to Rye pours an amber-red with a stable off-white head. The first whiff gives a mild, grassy hop aroma. The first taste gives a good hop bitterness that you would expect form the 80 IBU’s. The malt backbone provides good balance, and with the rye providing a spiciness that complements without dominating the flavor profile. At 7.1% ABV this borders on a double IPA, without being two heavy or overly bitter. Hoppy Boston Score: 4.0/5.