Charter Oak Wadsworth IPA
Six pack, $9.99++, 5.5% ABV
Purchased at Maximum Beverage, West Hartford
True story: I’m writing this during lunch the day after I wrote the Two Roads Roadsmary’s Baby Pumpkin Ale review during a conference call at work yesterday. For whatever reason, that review really resonated with the fairly small crowd of local craft beer fans I’m friends with.
Some people complimented the writing, which is nice, but I think mostly the response was simply due to the fact that in one year, somehow, someway Two Roads has sort of become the Nutmeg State’s own version of a brewing behemoth. To besmirch their fine name is to bring pain upon oneself.
I’m not on Untapped and I sort of slink in and out of places without announcing myself. I made the decision to operate this way many, many years ago… back when Connecticut had but 2 or 3 breweries. It has served me well across the board – and it allows me to be, perhaps, a bit more honest when writing that something displeases me. And people like that.
I really like that.
Which leads me to this beer… about which I have nothing interesting to say at all. Charter Oak is a purely contract operation. The owner lives in New Canaan and his beers are brewed and bottled up at Paper City in Massachusetts. That’s his business model and frankly, I have no issue with it. A few years ago, a few other contract brewers liked to pretend they weren’t or that they were building out a brewery, etc, but with the Internet and jerks like me on it, that whole charade has sort of faded away. Thank goodness.
There was a recent article about contract brewers and it’s pretty good. Charter Oak features in it.
Only one sentence annoyed me… One of the Never-Grew-Up frat boys behind Beaver Beer said, “Why invest a pile of money in a brewery when you have no idea how your brand is going to do? I think it’s idiocy to build a big brewery when you’re not sure.”
So is he calling Relic, Shebeen, Firefly, Beer’d, Broad Brook, Top Shelf, Stubborn Beauty, etc, etc, etc idiotic? Yes, yes he is. I really hate Beaver Beer.
But I don’t hate Charter Oak. But I’ve not much to say about their beer, so I’ll let them yammer on about it and put in a random picture of my son with a toad. Just because.
Charter Oak says:
Charter Oak’s Wadsworth India Pale Ale beer (named after Captain Joseph Wadsworth, for it was he who actually rode off to hide the Charter in the Charter Oak Tree) is our west coast style IPA with plenty of hop aroma and bitterness, yet crisp, refreshing and not over the top! Our Charter Oak IPA style will please your palate with more than your typical ‘every day India Pale Ale’ and you’ll be sure to taste our grapefruit citrus overtone backed with notes of caramel. Our beer is a medium bodied beer with a rich amber shade. Plenty of choice, high Alpha hops that we hand select, yet well balanced and not too intense for the best locally brewed IPA from our specialty malted barley.
That’s a lot of words about a beer that is perfectly mediocre. It’s almost boring. Okay, it’s not boring as much as it is a perfectly fine IPA for a summer’s day. The hops are there, sure, and it is “crisp,” yes, but mises the mark a bit.
Whenever I have a beer of a certain type: overly bitter or dry or goopy on the tongue, I want to hock loogies while drinking it. I use this as a gauge as to how much I dislike a beer. I wanted to hock loogies the entire way through this IPA but, strangely, I didn’t hate it like I hate most loogie-inducing beers. I just learned there’s a beer called “Raging Flem.”
But since it’s an IPA, and IPAs rule my world, it is relatively not so good.
I have nothing else to say. Boring IPA, a description that belies the truth about it, great historical tie-ins with their names, forthright owner.
Overall Rating:, C+
Rating vs. Similar style: C-