Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Crooked Crab

This is a first for me, especially when it comes to my brewery series ... writing a blog post about a brewery while I am sitting in that  brewery. A couple of asterisks first. I have been to this brewery before. That visit was a kind of scouting mission.  I want led to check the place out, and, as it turns out, all of the pictures for this blog post come from that first visit. The other asterisks is, of course, there has been some editing of the post after the fact. I have to admit that it is really damn hard to type a blog post on a phone.

With all of that out of the way, the brewery is the Crooked Crab in Odenton, Maryland. It is one of a couple of new breweries in Anne Arundel County. I stopped by the first time with my beautiful Angel and my kids to try the beer and to pick up a growler for our crab feast later in the day. 

As has become my practice when visiting a new brewery, I start with the sampler. This allows me to try a range of the beers and to get a sense of how the brewers approach different styles. The tap list at the time our visit had a variety of pale ales, such as the Haze for Days (New England Pale), I Fought the Claw (IPA, and props to the reference to one of my all time favorite Clash songs), Space Master Flex (a NE IPA), the Wit-ty IPA (a cross between a With and an IPA) and Too Much of a Good Thing (the Triple IPA).

After getting the sampler, it was off to the tasting. The sampler included the Space Flex,  Wit-ty IPA, I Fought the Claw, and Too Much of a Good Thing. It also included the Ryeders of the Sun, which is their Rye IPA.  So, basically all of the seasonal beers plus the year-round IPA. I liked all of the beers, particularly the I Fought the Claw and the Too Much of a Good Thing.  However, I have to say that I loved the Wit-ty IPA. In fact, I liked it so much that it was the beer that would go into the growler for our crab feast.  Given how well Crooked Crab did with pale ales, New England Pales, double and triple pale ales, I decided to try the Chuck Brown, which is their brown ale.  That beer was a very good example of a brown ale. 

In the end, the Wit-ty IPA won out and, as I noted, I bought a growler of the beer because I thought that it would work best with the flavors of the crab meat and Old Bay The beer pours like an IPA, with a golden amber hue that suggests a very hop forward beer.  However, this beer cannot be judged by its appearance.  The elements of the beer strongly suggest aromas one would expect from a Belgian Wit. Elements that suggest coriander or some citrus that one would not expect from an IPA, like orange. The Wit carries through to the taste of the beer, and this is what I think sets the Wit-ty IPA apart from the other Belgian Pales that I have tried. There is a significant coriander, along with a some clove in the taste of the beer.  The fact that one can get these elements before the traditional citrus elements of a pale ale makes this beer far more enjoyable to me.  In the end, the only bad thing I can say about the Wit-ty IPA is that as I sit here during my second visit to the tap room, the damn beer had been tapped.  

I am a big fan of the Maryland craft beer movement and Crooked Crab is the perfect example. This brewery hit on all of the beers that I tried and the Wit-ty IPA is the best Belgian pale ale that I have tried in a very long time. If you find yourself in the Odenton area, you should check out this brewery. Hell, if you find yourself in the State of Maryland, you should check out this brewery. Until next time,


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