Beer of the Weekend #834: Freedom of '78

Yesterday I made the mistake of walking down the beer aisle at the co-op. A number of new beers intrigued me so I have decided it is high time to finish my Michigan haul. I have two beers left, including tonight’s brew. (I unfortunately had to dump a sixer of No Problems Session IPA brewed by the Perrin Brewing Company. I should have checked the date on the bottom of the cans because that sixer was way past its prime.)

The beer tonight is Freedom of ’78, brewed by Short’s Brewing of Elk Rapids, Michigan, in collaboration with Chicago’s Half Acre Beer Company.

The color is hazy, golden amber. A finger of beige, buttery, bubble-spotted head leaves a skim, a few bubbles, and a ring around the edge. The aroma is very juicy and tropical. The pink guava, I assume (I am not very familiar with the scent or flavor), dominates the aroma. There are also hints of other tropical fruits such as kiwi and mango, some citrus, and pine. Floral hops are also noticeable. The first sip is very odd and almost offensive; it is an unharmonious combination of toasted malt, bitter floral hops, and (presumably) guava. It tastes like the first time you had an IPA and it overwhelmed your taste buds. However, it slowly grows on you; each subsequent sip is better, tastier. It still remains a strange mix, though, with flavors of toasted malt, floral hops, pine, and guava. The tail is candy-like and fruity with hints of dark fruit (mostly cherry and raspberry), and the bitterness does not linger for long on the taste buds.

Fun facts about Freedom of ’78:

• Style: IPA.

• Price: I assume it is the $11.99 change on my receipt from the Meijer on West Lake Lansing Road in East Lansing, Michigan.

• Alcohol content: 8 percent ABV.

• IBU: 70.

• Though it does not say anywhere on the bottle or the beer’s webpage, I assume Freedom of ’78 is named in honor of the legalization of homebrewing in the U.S. in 1978.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B-.

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