If you are a frequent reader of this site then you know I have a deep affection and history with my friends over at the Buffalo Wing Factory. They’ve been a local staple in the Northern Virginian community for over 20 years and they are releasing their first beer today – Buffalo Wing Factory Session IPA.
5.3% ABV and 25.4 IBUs
The Buffalo Wing Factory, or BWF, is not a brewery so how will did they brew a beer? Beltway Brewing Company in Sterling, VA is a partner/contract brewery. That means that they make beer for other breweries or restaurants using their equipment. Locally-owned Crooked Run Brewing and Adroit Theory Brewing both use Beltway to brew larger batches of their beers. It’s still Crooked Run and Adroit Theory’s recipes but they just use Beltway’s industrial-sized equipment. This is what the Buffalo Wing Factory has now done as well.
BWF had a very small pre-release party on Tuesday where I got to try the new addition to their already packed tap lineup. And for all you Session IPA haters out there, it’s not your typical Session IPA. This beer clocks in at 5.3% ABV with 25.4 IBUs. It’s not hoppy to begin with but will finish with a hint of a bite. In comparison, Stone Go To IPA is 4.5% ABV with 65 IBUs and Founders All Day IPA is 4.7% ABV with 42 IBUs. So with the BWF Session IPA you’re going to get less of a bite, more maltiness up front with a sneaky higher ABV. It also has more body than other Session IPAs that I’ve had. A seasoned craft beer drinker should try this one out and see if they like BWF’s take on the style. This is also a good beer for any new craft beer drinker trying to transition into hoppy beers.
Me and Phuong at the pre-release party
Pre-release party fun
BWF is now crafting more than just great wings
Nick with the new BBQ sandwich
Today this beer will be $2 from open to close at 11:00pm at all four locations. Happy Hour is from 4:00-7:00pm where you can get other craft beers starting around $4. After today the BWF Session IPA will be $4 all day, every day. I’m not positive if they’ll be on the menu today but BWF has created two new menu items that use the beer. First is a beer cheese served with garlic bread, which everyone was raving about at the pre-release party. Second is a BBQ sandwich, which has the beer in the sauce if I remember correctly.
Head on out to your nearest Buffalo Wing Factory tonight and try their new Session IPA. I will most likely be at the Ashburn location around 5:00pm. Come say hi to me and make sure to be one of the firsts to check it in on Untappd too.
Unless you’re brand new to beer (nothing wrong with that though) you know that hops are measured on a scale of bitterness. IBUs, International Bitterness Units, measure the bitter alpha acids from hops that are isomerized and dissolved during the boil.
Some beers, like Hefeweizens, have IBUs of 10-15 while Double IPAs will go to 80+ IBUs.
Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink has a great graph in chapter four that shows the relationship of IBUs to Original Gravity (think the amount of alcohol in a beer. Yes, it’s more complicated than that but now’s not the time.). What I noticed that was generally the hoppier the beer, the more Original Gravity, OG, is has. Mosher describes why a lot better than I am able to.
So looking at the chart I came to this hypothesis: if you enjoy a certain beer, wouldn’t you enjoy a beer with a similar hoppiness-to-OG?
I challenge you to try this experiment. Ladies Hefeweizen lovers – try a Doppelbock. Pale Ale fans (like myself) – try a Maibock. And IPA buffs – try an Irish Dry Stout.
It took 20 minutes of pacing the beer aisle of Harris Teeter last Friday but I decided to pick up a six-pack of New Belgium Trippel, which I had never had before.
New Belgium, out of Fort Collins, Colorado, has brought us great beers such as Fat Tire, Snow Day and one of my favorites, the retired 2˚ Below.
Started being produced in 1992
Hops: Saaz, Liberty, Target
Malts: Pale, Munich, Victory
I poured the Belgian style ale into a Weizen glass. It had a white head that lasted two or so minutes. It was very carbonated and bubbled for a long time. It had an orange-brown color and was extremely see-through, helping to accent the bubbles.
It smelled of coriander and oranges.
It tasted toasty ending with the hops. It had a light/airy texture. I could really taste the spices. The aftertaste resonated for a while after each sip.
Maybe I was craving bacon at the time but I think it’d go great with a BLT on white. Also I think I’d go well with a hard, sharp Parmesan.
Even at such a high alcohol percentage, I could have quite a few of these in a row. I was pleasantly surprised in how much I liked it and have already bought another six-pack.
What new beers have you had recently that you’ve enjoyed?