Virginia seems to be getting invaded by San Diego beer and it’s awesome. We’ve just recently started getting more choices from Ballast Point, as well as Green Flash, including some limited releases. From what I’ve seen Indra Kunindra is hard to come by and I actually bought the last bottle of it at Norm’s in Vienna. It is a most unusual variation of a Stout, bearing spices such as curry, cumin and cayenne pepper along with Kaffir lime and coconut. Nevertheless the blend of spices gives it a complexity that to me was very intriguing and pleasant. It was also not a huge ABV beer at 7%. I would think a boozy imperial stout would dilute some of the spice flavors. Each of the flavors hits you in a separate swirl of tastiness, followed by a slight roastiness from the malt and a slightly creamy mouthfeel. This would go really well with some spicy Indian food. I could see some people not liking it and I don’t think I would have it just anytime. I happened to have it with some spicy popcorn while watching a movie. That worked out pretty well. I don’t think I would recommend it without some kind of spicy food or if you were having a bunch of beers with buddies at a bar. This is definitely a food pairing beer. I give it five proper pints for creativity, but four overall.
I’ve been really excited lately to see Green Flash in Northern Virginia. I came across them once by accident in San Diego while visiting the Stone Bistro and Gardens in Escondido when I Googled other breweries and found Green Flash about half way back to where I was headed in San Diego. I really liked virtually all of the beers I tasted, but once I got back to the East Coast I couldn’t get them…until now. Apparently, they soon plan to open a brewery operation in Virginia Beach, adding to the already burgeoning Virginia beer scene. This beer is an Imperial Rye IPA. The it pours a nice dark copper color with a thick white head that lingers. The aroma is very piney and citrusy. The flavor is a deep toffee and brown sugar with some bread, along with a flowing combination of grapefruit, mango and pine from the hops along with a little spicy twist from the rye. Very complex. It is a little boozy, but still nicely flavored. Very pleasurable. I would give this one five out of five proper pints. I could just about drink this any time.