Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Full Sail Brewing Company Bump in the Night

Full Sail Brewery is an employee owned brewery located in Hood River, Oregon.  The brewery emerged from an abandoned cannery and now has established itself in the craft beer movement.  Full Sail has its core beers, seasonal beers and even session beers.  What has caught my attention, however, are the Brewmaster Reserve beers.  Many breweries have "reserve" series or "Brewmaster" beers; and, those beers tend to be the most interesting or innovative beers that they produce.  

This is the case with Full Sail's "Bump in the Night."  Full Sail brewed this beer in the Cascadian Dark Ale style.  A Cascadian Dark Ale, or CDA is a relatively new style of beer, that has emerged in the Pacific Northwest.  The hallmarks of a CDA is its deep brown or black color, along with its citrus and pine aromas of northwestern hops.  The taste of a CDA is supposed to be a balance between the hops and the roasted malts used in the brewing process.  In many ways, a Cascadian Dark Ale is very much the Pacific Northwest's answer to a Black IPA.

Full Sail brewed this beer for the first time in late 2010 and released it for early 2011.  According to the brewer, the beer is brewed with an array of dark malts, which present a full bodied beer with notes of cocoa and a slight roast.  The brewer also describes the beer as having a big floral citrus hop flavor and bitterness that are reminiscent of an India Pale Ale for 2011, this beer is brewed in the Cascadian Dark Ale style. 

The Bump in the Night is a good example of a Cascadian Dark Ale.  Its dark brown color, its roasted notes, and the balance with hops make this beer a very good drinking experience.  With an ABV of 6.5% and an IBU of 65, the beer does not have the heavy alcohol or extreme bitterness that may turn off some beer drinkers.
I can see why this beer won the Gold Medal at the 2011 World Beer Championship.  I found this beer at Corridor Wine and Liquor in Laurel, Maryland.  Given its availability is limited to January to March, it is probably not in any stores.  Patience will be needed, along with a little hope that the brewers at Full Sail will brew this beer again for next year.


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