I found this beer’s title appropriate on a couple of levels. First, the label boasts it is a ‘chaotic blend of Citra hops and trappist-style years,’ so there’s that. Second, my wife just left for four days and I’m playing Mr. Mom. Now there is true Bedlam.
Just a few days ago I finally squeezed an extra hour out of a long trip home in order to visit this Madison-based brewpub. It was quiet on a Sunday night, by the end of our meal it was just us, a small family and the young bartender. Due to the typically lighter traffic and, apparently, some scheduling errors, the barkeep was both pint pourer and chef extraordinaire. Thus, the pizza list, eight items long, was the entirety of the dinner menu, accompanied by the appetizer ‘list’ of chips and salsa. However, the pizza made up for in quality what the menu may have lacked in quantity and the beer made it all go down so easily.
Released latest, this Belgian IPA was intriguing and available, so I had a half pint after my Hafa-Weizen and before my Big Slick Stout. I was impressed and managed to track down the last six pack at the local Hy-Vee. Wasting no time, I popped it open this evening and was, once again, pleased.
In color, its light, an irridescent orangey-yellow, and the lack of filtering gives it an almost glitter-like quality as I peer into my glass. The head was a solid three fingers and by the time I had my first sip, had cascaded to form a crown, not unlike the image on the label, around the top inch of my PHM pint. It smelled unbelievable, the Citra hops huge and inviting and yet not overpowering that Belgian yeast strain, which snuck through in a pleasant sweetness. My first sip reminded me why I made the extra effort to track down six of these guys. It bursts of hops but is silky smooth and rich, with a very easy, light bitter punch on the finish. The sweetness of the malts and yeast played so well to my Belgian-leaning palate and yet didn’t go overboard at all. It seems the brewery has achieved a tenuous and delicate balance, blending the All American hoppy brew with a centuries-old Belgian flair, capturing both well and turning one man’s mouth into pure Bedlam.