Artists Series: The Decemberists IPA
I’m sure it seems like revisionist history now, but I mean it honestly when I say that the first time I heard Castaways and Cutouts I was certain I had found the greatest band of the 2000’s. Now, more than a decade and 6 albums after that original LP I maintain that they are the most talented, unique band performing today. There are more successful bands, more critically acclaimed bands, but for people who have a love of music, melody and the magic of storytelling – there isn’t a single band that can hold a candle. Don’t believe me? Check out the playlist.
You can imagine, then, how daunting a project this beer was going to be. I’ve spent a lot of time noodling on exactly what to do – over the last two years I’ve taken a bunch of cracks at designing this beer but kept tossing it out and starting over from scratch. At various points it was designed to be a Pale Ale, a dark stout, a Black IPA and finally, in this form, a bold West Coast IPA. But it wasn’t the recipe or the music that jumped out at me – it was another beer.
While we were working on the Christmas Ale I was astounded by the wort flavors before we added any of the special touches that made that beer a Christmas Ale. It resounded with toffee, dark raisin, enormous maltiness and this wild, unbridled sweetness. I knew as soon as I tasted that wort that I’d found the base for this beer. From that point it was a simple thing to pick and choose a handful of hops to play in concert with the wort and create a towering, hop forward IPA.
We’re thrilled to introduce the Artists Series: The Decemberists IPA. Dominated by hop notes – grapefruit, orange, tropical fruit, mango and the tiniest hint of resin – the nose and the hops slide back as the malts come forward, a sneaky burst of toffee and dark, raisin. Underneath the experience, a slow, building bitter takes shape – as all the parts come into harmony and rise in a symphony of flavor with the slightest tease of a lingering sweetness on the tongue. It’s our way of building a beer to match a band that combines magical, lyric storytelling with simple, haunting and epically beautiful music.
We hope you enjoy the beer as much as we enjoy the music.