Geek Nip IPA
750 mL bottle, $8, 5.5% ABV
Purchased at the brewery, Haddam
That rumbling you heard in eastern Connecticut wasn’t the recent spate of the so-called “Moodus noises”, from that part of East Haddam just across the swing bridge from Steady Habit. No, my friends, that was Steady Habit’s first shot across the Connecticut brew-scene bow. BOOM. These guys aren’t messing around. Busting out of the gates with a couple IPAs and an APA; two of which are single-hopped beauts.
Case in point: The curiously named Geek Nip IPA is a Citra citrus bomb of a beer. And it’s good. Really, really good. So good, in fact, that when I opened the bottle at home and consumed it with my wife and a friend, we were so enamored with it that I failed to take a picture of the dang glass with the dang beer in it. (And no, I wasn’t drunk but it was during the ridiculous Seattle-New England Super Bowl.) This is pretty much the first time I’ve made this mistake in well over a hundred Connecticut beer reviews. Oh well. We’ll all be okay.
I procured this bottle during only the 5th hour of Steady Habit’s existence. And yet, there I was… waiting in line with 40 other people on a numbingly cold day (thankfully, the brewery’s space is pretty big and we were safe and warm inside). And lo! Who else was in line but Lasting Brass Brewery’s Ed Silva! And the artist formerly known as Craft Brew Guy! (I just call him Aron). The ubiquitous Steve L was there as well, along with a few other guys who know good beer. Steady Habit is for real, folks. Believe it.
What’s funny about this is that with the spate of new brewery openings in 2014-15, some of us have become pretty jaded. In fact, my friend Chris has adopted the philosophy of, “I predict everyone sucks until proven wrong.” This sort of came about a few months ago when we were discussing the long list of breweries-to-be. We’re both tired of hype and basically have agreed that we’re not going to hop on any hop train until those hops are proven worthwhile. I countered that I trusted Steady Habit – based not only on what I knew of the head brewer, but also a couple preview samples I had had a few months before opening. Chris stuck to his guns.
Which is one reason I like Chris.
Also? It’s why Chris was the guy I invited over to drink this beer with me during the Super Bowl. That’s how obsessive planners like me roll.
Now, I agree, it’s probably a bit unfair to review the beers of a brand new brewery. Hell, the Geek Nip was just offered for the first time a mere 45 minutes before I got my bottle filled. And let’s be honest, with the likes of NEBCO and Beer’d locking down the single-hop APA/DIPA/IPA market in Connecticut, how could Steady Habit hope to stack up?
Steady Habit says:
Geek Nip is an India Pale Ale brewed with all Citra hops. Aromatic, flavorful…..Citra.
Ah, Citra. And since I’ve mentioned Beer’d and NEBCO, I must mention their respective 8 Days a Week and, yup, Fuzzy Freaking Baby Goshdarn Ducks. FfBgD is an IPA and the 8 Days is an APA. The Geek Nip is also an IPA. Do you care? I don’t, because all three are nearly perfect beers. (I must also mention that the other Steady Habit beer I got at the same time was a Nelson single hop effort. Like I said, “BOOM.”)
Let me also tell you that perfecting a single-hopped beer is not the easiest thing to do. I’ve had mediocre ones and I’ve had bad ones. Getting them “just right” is what sets Beer’d and NEBCO apart. And… dare I say… Steady Habit has dipped a toe into their ranks. Can they maintain this quality? I can only hope.
And I don’t mean to front on Steady Habit by writing too much about NEBCO and its top fanboy brew, but I can’t help it.
Why? Because of the name of this beer: Geek Nip.
— Warning: What follows is a typical CTMQ line of absurdist thought—
A geek is, of course, archaically defined as “a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake.” Or, perhaps, a duck? Hmmmmm… and a “nip” is a “bite” and old school hip-hop enthusiasts like me know that to “bite” is to steal. So is Steady Habit cheekily saying that they are stealing from NEBCO and the Fuzzy Baby Duck phenomenon? Or, more likely, they are “nipping” at FBD’s heels? Like I said, Hmmmmmm…
Of course, perhaps one of the crew down there loves the mysthical “sexy librarian archetype” and is really into nerdy boobs or something.
— Okay, back to reality—
This beer is delicious. It is citrusy and hoppy and clean and I really like the lowish ABV. Just wonderful all around. It wasn’t sticky or resinous or oily or overly hopped or too sweet or anything I’ve sometimes tasted in these types of beers.
As for Chris, I think I convinced him that Steady Habit is a serious player right off the bat here in Connecticut. And I consider that a job well done – both by Steady Habit and by me.
Overall Rating: A
Rating vs. Similar style: A