High and Mighty Beer Company was founded by Will Shelton in 2006. Will was working with his brother running Shelton Brothers beer importing company when he decided to make and distribute his own beer, in addition to the beers he was importing. By 2008 Will left the importing business to focus exclusively on High and Mighty Beer Co., contract brewing his beers at Paper City Brewing in Holyoke, MA. The goal of High and Mighty is to produce European style beers with a strong American influence. One of their popular brews is Purity of Essence, a hoppy lager. High and Mighty Purity of Essence is brewed according to the German Reinheitsgebot, a Bavarian Purity Law established in 1516 that required all beer to be made using only malted grains, water and hops (yeast was obviously necessary too, but knowledge of microorganisms was limited in 1516) . This was important because some miscreant “brewers” would make beer with all sorts of harmful chemicals. Despite the adherence to ancient brewing laws and the use of only German noble hop varieties, Purity of Essence is very different from traditional German lagers, displaying the high hop additions popularized by many American style ales, and an increasing number of craft lagers. High and Mighty Purity of Essence is available year round in 22 oz. bottles and on draft.
High and Mighty Purity of Essence pours a full amber red, slightly hazy with a mild white head. The smell is all hops, earthy with citrus and tropical fruit. The taste is very hop forward too, lemon, grapefruit, pine and mango accompanied by a nice bitter bite. There is some malt in the backbone, present enough to add some balance without contributing much to the flavor. The beer is very clean and drinkable, great for warm days in the summer. You can tell it’s a lager, there are none of the ester byproduct flavors common in beers fermented at higher temperatures with ale yeast. At 4.9% ABV it’s low in alcohol without being a true session beer. The finish is crisp with a nice little kick of hop bitterness. Overall I really enjoyed this beer – great hop flavor in a smooth, easy to drink lager. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.