Beers of the Month: 420 Edition

If you spend any time at all in the world of craft beer, you’ll soon notice that many brewers just love a good ol’ marijuana reference when naming a new product. Maybe it’s a result of the botanical link between hops and cannabis; maybe it’s the preponderance of hippies in the craft realm; maybe it’s some other reason. But in honor of 4/20 – that weed enthusiasts’ holiday whose origins are as foggy as a cloud of pot smoke – here’s a roundup of some of my favorite beers with marijuana-themed names.

Otter Creek Backseat Berner/Joint Custody

The folks at Vermont’s Otter Creek have two entries on my list. Backseat Berner is a stunningly good IPA, packed with the resinous, piney notes that can only be delivered by big, juicy West Coast hops. It’s widely available year-round, and is one of my favorite IPAs. On the other hand, Joint Custody (possibly the best pot pun name ever) is a great collaboration with Massachusetts-based lager brewery Jack’s Abby. It’s a deliciously clean, hopped-up Pilsner, and though it was brewed as a limited release last summer, if you were lucky enough to try it out, you’ll likely join me in desperately hoping the brewers make a second batch. (If not, you can still find some months-old cans around – and I hear it ages better than you would expect a hoppy Pilsner to age, so… there’s that.)

Three Heads The Kind

Rochester, N.Y.’s Three Heads has a whole menu of beers with pot-slang names, but if I had to choose just one, I’d pick their flagship IPA, The Kind. For my money, it’s not quite as good as Backseat Berner, but it’s still pretty great, with tons of hops and a nice mix of citrus and pine in the flavors. If you like it, but wish it was punched up a bit, you can go for the double IPA version (Too Kind) or even the stultifying triple IPA (Tre Kind).

Sweetwater 420

Finally, Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing came to PA a few months back, and brought their full line, including the standard 420 Extra Pale Ale. It’s a basic American pale with a nice hop profile – pleasantly bitter but still refreshing and easy drinkin’. It’s by far the lightest-bodied beer on this short list, but that’s OK – sometimes you’re looking for “fresh” more than “dank.”

#hashsession and a FAT stack of ribs making for a solid Sunday at Que & Brews with @foxbrosbarbq. Let’s smoke cancer! #fcancer A photo posted by SweetWater Brewing Company (@sweetwaterbrew) on

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Posted in Articles, Craft Corner, Drink, Drink – Harrisburg, Drink – Lancaster, Drink – York

Jed Reinert is the content editor of Fly Magazine. His prior experiences include playing in short-lived bands, writing poetry about diners, being hit by a car while skateboarding, witnessing a casino robbery in Las Vegas, and hand-developing a vintage roll of film that turned out to contain candid photos of Adolf Hitler. His interests include craft beer, indie rock, Star Wars and eating as much food as possible.

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