Howe Sound — a brewery which you might’ve noticed crossing this here blog once or twice — makes a bunch of limited-release beers, which I’m given to understand are essentially the brewmaster playing around. That’s all well and good, and I rather enjoy many of their more esoteric offerings, but two of the limited-release beers are Total Eclipse and Pothole Filler, and those are beers I would cheerfully drink every damn day. So when Total Eclipse went out of production to be replaced by some sort of “hemp ale”, I got a bit annoyed. I count it as a victory of stoic restraint that I didn’t throw a tantrum right there in the liquor store.
But, y’know, Howe Sound is good enough at what they do that I’ll buy damn near anything they put out, at least one bottle. Still, when High Tide Hemp Ale (“High” tide? Get it? Geddit?) showed up on the shelves last week, I took one look at the label — a dove, holding a peace sign in its beak, over a tie-dye pattern — and damn near sprained my inferior recti rolling my eyes. I ended up with a bottle of bourbon instead.
Today, however, I picked up a bottle of the hemp ale, mostly because I’d told people that I trust Howe Sound enough to buy at least one bottle of anything they sell. And while I don’t regret that bottle of Bulleit, High Tide is a damn fine beer.
Imagine a good nut brown. It’s rich, crisp, and maybe a little bit fruity. It doesn’t have an obnoxious aftertaste, but hits the palate cleanly, stays there for a while, and leaves a pleasant memory behind. High Tide is like that, only a bit richer. Everything you like about malty beers is there, to a certain extent. It’s not an overachiever, nor is it ostentatious, but it is a very tasty beer.