I was in Pittsburgh with some mates earlier this year. We rented a house and had a pretty good time – drank too much, ate too much, plenty of cards, music and ten-pin bowling. On the first night there were only two of us, and having driven right across Pennsylvania all the way from Worcester, MA earlier that day we were pretty wrecked. We needed beers.
Cruising around what appeared to be the “cemetery district” of Pittsburgh in my rented SUV we found ourselves at a rough-looking tavern with utes (trucks) parked all around. It was a hectic place from an Australian’s perspective: there were at least twenty flat-screen televisions mounted about the walls and a large, rowdy crowd was dotted about the venue in hockey uniforms watching an important game. It wasn’t going well for the Pittsburgh fans.
A huge square bar sat front and centre with skimpy bartenders serving in all four directions. And would you believe it: tonight was 25% off craft beers! That didn’t stop 99% of the patrons from continuing to drink Bud Light of course.
We sat at the bar, I had the “Pittsburgh Sandwich” (a normal sandwich with fries in it) and hit the beers. I went for something big, the Southern Tier Double IPA.
Southern Tier produces its beverages out of Lakewood, New York and have wide distribution in-country, though I’ve never seen their beers outside of the U.S. The company was founded by two brewers in 2002 and originally focused on Mild and India Pale Ales as well as Pilsners. They expanded in 2009, 2010 and 2013.
The 2xIPA is a steady 8.2% beer brewed with some wheat malt and a complex hop/grain bill. It looks a bright, shiny straw and transmits fresh resin and pine to the nose. There’s citrus in there too, but not a full fruit salad like many American and Australian IPAs. Carbonation average.
Featuring a light touch for an IPA, the beer goes down smooth with a thin mouthfeel given its flavour punch of doughnut sweetness. Not too bitter, this IPA is big and dry but light. It’s ridiculously easy drinking for the alcohol content.
I’d recommend it to any IPA drinker – if you don’t know the ABV beforehand, you’ll think it’s only 5-6%. A bit tricky in that regard.
I drank this beer on draught at Shenanigan’s in Pittsburgh, PA.