I’D TAP THAT: Don’t fear the dark

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Description: NightTime pours a deep brown black with a fluffy beige head that leaves behind a thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is filled with hints of roasted malts balanced with a strong hop presence — think dark baker’s chocolate mixed with citrus fruits, mainly grapefruit. The taste follows the nose with a strong roasted malt presence up front with hints of dark chocolate and bitter coffee finding balance against citrus and pine hop notes that, when combined, present a semi-sweet taste which culminates with a partially dry finish. The medium-full body and moderate carbonation present a beer that is incredibly creamy, smooth, and perfect for a style such as this one. While the hops are present throughout, this is definitely not a traditional American IPA. The roasted malts make themselves known throughout. This is a beer that has something for everyone, but it is a beer that some may just not like. If you are one of the lucky ones who enjoys the Black IPA style, this is a beer you will love.

Food pairing: The rich roasted malt character balanced with the strong hop presence makes for quite a number of great pairings across an assortment of meals. If you are a fan of having a beer with brunch on a lovely Sunday morning, then try pairing NightTime with some hearty pancakes drizzled with boysenberry syrup or any topping of your choice. Don’t forget the whipped cream for an added layer of flavor.

Looking for a lunch or dinner pairing instead? Try having NightTime with a delicious burger topped with bacon, mushrooms, cheese and anything else you can throw on it. This beer can handle it all. The rich malts gravitate toward meat while the hops will sink their teeth into any toppings and leave the palate cleansed between each bite. A wide array of desserts offer another truly great pairing for this beer, a territory typically not touched by many traditional IPA’s. Try pairing NightTime with carrot cake, molten chocolate cake, German chocolate cake and chocolate truffles. This beer truly is a workhorse and is great to have handy for any food pairing.

Glassware: The roasted malt characteristics and hoppy aroma call for glassware that allows the beer to warm slowly and capture aromatics. The two best choices for glassware are the Spiegelau IPA and Stout glasses. However, if neither are available, then a snifter glass will work perfectly.

The Final Word: The Black IPA style is not for everyone but, when done right, has offerings that a wide array of craft beer lovers will enjoy. NightTime offers both dark roasted malt features similar to a smooth porter but with great hop bitterness and aromatics that IPA lovers will enjoy. When done wrong, the style can come across as a hoppy porter, unbalanced, and generally not enjoyable. Not only is NightTime a well brewed, smooth, and balanced beer but it is also the perfect beer to enjoy as the transition from a long cold winter into a gradually warmer spring. Grab some now. Don’t worry, you can enjoy it any time of day, not just at night.

Where can I get it? : Currently available in 12 oz. bottles at: Backyard Ale House- Scranton; Cooper’s Seafood- Scranton; J & H Beer- Plains Twp; Exit 190 Beer Deli- Dickson City; What’s Brewing’ 6 Pack Shoppe- Old Forge, Georgetown Deli- Wilkes Barre; and Joe’s Six Packs To Go- Dunmore.