Smart Parts: Introducing Hazy Coastal Lager and Celebrating New Love
My last blog post was about love and beer. Specifically first love - one that forever changes you. For me, it was an impressive goblet of Chimay Blue nearly 20 years ago. We all remember our first love; deserving to be cherished, remembered and revisited. Happily, life is full of new loves, new branches on our personal trees, delightful excursions on life’s road trip. Some loves are fleeting (like my 6th-grade hammer pants, snap bracelets and Hypercolor) and some linger as stabilizing and inspiring life companions. Without too much detail about other lasting, personal crushloves (Pearl Jam, The Smurfs, peanut butter and hot sauce sandwiches) the answer is YES! Beer is indeed full of new loves as well as life-long friends.
This blog entry is the introduction of a new personal beer obsession - my crushin’ on one CRUSHABLE beer. Yep, I’m awaiting the return of SMART PARTS.
Smart Parts was born as part of a set of challenges presented at Beer Advocate’s Extreme Beer Fest 2019 in Boston. The beer was a hit at the fest and became a standout in our Taproom even with a menu already heavy on awesome hop-forward beers. After fending off constant queries about its return and calming our own cravings we are thrilled to be releasing it again...and in CANS. “Cans, Jerry...CANS!”
(WARNING: moderate beer nerdery ahead)
Head Brewer Jason Thompson’s concept of the beer was to capture the hop character and smooth, creamy qualities of a hazy IPA but get it super-dry and drinkable. Accomplishing this would use the hopping schedule and modern, tropical hop varieties of a NEIPA and a grain bill stuffed with wheat and oats. To get the clean, dry, appetizing, crushable character he employed a smooth lager fermentation and the intensive mash regime of a light lager.
After its release we knew we had a hugely hop-forward and eminently crushable beer...but What to CALL this new creation? What STYLE was it? Did that matter? More unique than any ‘session’ IPA I’d ever had (difficult to balance, they can often not have enough scaffolding to hold all the hops), but not a classic lager style or even new-fangled IPL, and not TRULY a NE IPA...after one admiring look and healthy draft of this unique creation in the inimitable Florida sunshine, the name struck - Hazy Coastal Lager. This moniker came to represent the smashing together of all the best beers it was inspired by and was an perfect description of the flavor, origin, and the ideal occasion for enjoyment.
Having a cool concept come to life is one of the thrills of sharing a creation like this with everyone. I know I’m personally going to lay waste to a good portion of this beer myself...an exciting new love, a new pal, my crush on one crushable beer.