Willibrew Late Night IPA
1 5oz sampler, 7.2% ABV
Purchased at Willibrew, Willimantic
When I was a mere kid- 7th or 8th grade or so, my brother and I started recording David Letterman’s NBC “Late Night” show. I loved it. I never missed and episode and tried to catch up on the 4 years or so I missed due to youth/being VCR-less.
Old Late Night was weird and quirky and jerky and funny. I haven’t watched Letterman in two decades (since he moved to CBS) so I have no idea what he’s doing these days, but back then, he was pretty great and – to this pubescent teen – revolutionary.
My “Late Night” viewing was one of my first forays into obsessive compulsion. I never missed a show. I read whatever I could find back then about Letterman and about NBC late night programming.
(At this same time, I listened to Howard Stern obsessively as well, and had a whole listening/taping set up. I’d wake at 6 and listen to the first 45 minutes, get ready for school, listen until the last possible minute and then hit record on my recorder which was a special one that could “flip” the tape and continue recording on the other side, so I would get to catch essentially the first almost-3 hours of his show every day.)
Early Stern and early Letterman formed my comedy opinions. They both had comedian guests on all the time. I studied the comedians. Their timing, their style, inflections and deliveries. And above all else, their comedy. Stern and Letterman drove the trains, but the comedians who worked and wrote for – and performed with – them were the oil and coal and electricity that kept those trains running smoothly.
I was a bit of a loner as a teen – but I knew I was still cooler than my peers. Yeah, that was it.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that my obsession has now turned towards CTMQ list fulfillment. That’s all this site is: A crapload of lists that I am spending decades completing. I love that.
“Unfiltered India Pale Ale hopped with Nugget, Challenger and Northern Brewer in 6 additions.”
All my blather aside, I’m going to assume that “6 additions” means something like “continuously hopped.” In other words, the brewery must stay up “late night” adding the hops through the brewing process.
And there it is again: Obsession to craft. The thing that sets great craft brewers apart from mediocre ones. At a small operation like Willibrew, this obsession is obvious. And their obsession with the IPA style rivals my obsession with list-fulfillment on CTMQ. I mean, these guys pump out probably 15-20 different IPA’s every year.
This one is farily run-of-the-mill. It’s excellent, with deep hops, resin and some citrus and pine, but it doesn’t strive to be anything more than a well-done straight up IPA. Not overly anything and nothing unique added.
And that, my friends, is obsessive excellence.
Overall Rating: A-
Rating vs. Similar style: B+