Earlier this week I wrote about my first visit to Redemption Rock Brewery in Worcester. One thing I glossed over a bit was the beer, aside from saying that I enjoyed everything I tried and brought some crowlers home, I didn’t write much for specifics. This was because I intended to write this follow-up article with formal reviews of the two beers I brought home. The beers I grabbed were Benicia, an American IPA that falls between West Coast and New England substyles and Good Hang Idaho 7, a single hop hazy pale ale. I usually like to try something outside of the hop-forward beers when I first evaluate a new brewery, but I knew I was drinking both crowlers that night (with some help from my lovely wife), and I was in the mood for hops. Both beers are available on a rotational basis on draft and in 32 oz crowlers to go from the brewery.
Redemption Rock Benicia pours clear copper with a solid off-white head. The aroma is solidly hoppy, lots of citrus with a little tropical fruit. The hops also lead the flavor, hints of grapefruit, lemon, peach and cut grass along with a present but not overpowering bitterness. A solid malt backbone adds balance and notes of bread dough and cereal. Benicia is light-bodied and easy-drinking, not overly boozy at 6.4% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. This is a really tasty American IPA, clear and a little bitter but still showcasing the citrus and tropical fruit flavors from popular new world hops. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Good Hang: Idaho 7 pours hazy light orange with a full cream-colored head. The aroma is all hops, fruity and floral. The hops lead the flavor too, notes of papaya, lime zest, and herbs with a very soft bitterness. This is complemented by some pale malts, hints of bread crust and crackers. Good Hang: Idaho 7 is medium-bodied and smooth, sessionable at 4.5% ABV. The finish is mild leaving a bit of residual hop flavor on the tongue. I love the fact that Redemption Rock uses a session pale ale as a vehicle for their rotating single-hop beers, I think it is a really effective base. The Idaho 7 beer was interesting, not sure I’ve ever had a single-hop beer featuring this variety, and I will look forward to trying other iterations in the future. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.