Fresh, delicious liquid pumpkin pie in a can. What better way to start November? Charlotte’s NoDa Brewing Company is the company behind this seasonal pumpkin ale, called Gordgeous. The nose is sweet and bready, the middle bursting with pumpkin, brown sugar and fall spices. In the finish, the spiciness fades and the brown sugar comes back into the fore. The body is medium and the alcohol is a pleasant 6.4% ABV. This is a really nice pumpkin ale on the pie end of the spectrum, if that’s what your taste tends to, and I really love it.
I give it a 4.5 out of 5.
Par 4 is Noda Brewing Company’s low alcohol session IPA. The head is creamy and light, and the nose is very nice, with scents of grapefruit and lemon. The middle however, really lets it down for me. It is more flavorful than the average session IPA, (which is one of the drawbacks of the style, to me) but it’s very one-dimensional with powerful shot of bitter lemon and little else. This ale is brewed with oats, and a bit of that soft oaty goodness comes forward in the finish as the bitterness fades fades, and a hint of grapefruit comes through. The body is medium and the alcohol is 4.0% ABV, which is perfect for a session beer. I love NoDa, but for me, this was not one of their best, though I don’t have a lot of love for session IPAs as a style in any case, so it may be as much me as the beer.
I give it a 3.2 out of 5.
Continuing with beers from right here in Charlotte, Fake Plastic Trees is a hoppy wheat ale (think wheat IPA) from our friends at Birdsong Brewing Co. To start, the head is heavy and creamy, as befits a wheat ale, and the unfiltered golden hue is hazy. The nose has orange, lemon, and lemongrass scents. The middle is hop-forward with an American IPA profile (lemon and hint of pine) but served on a bed of wheat toast. This fades to bit more lemon and some grapefruit in the finish with the wheat continuing to balance things out and soften on the tongue. The body is medium and the alcohol is moderate at 6.4% ABV. This is a fun mash-up between a wheat ale and an IPA that will probably be best enjoyed by IPA fans.
I give it a 4.2 out of 5.
This summer refresher from NoDa Brewing Company here in Charlotte is a mojito inspired twist on a Belgain Witbier. It pours the expected light golden hue with the traditional massive wheat head. The nose is spicy and clean, with some light wheat flour notes. The middle is where the mojiton influence comes to the fore, with the light wheat base entirely masked by strong mint and lime flavors. The lime lingers into the finish, along with wheat toast and a bit of Belgian sourness. The body is light to medium and the alcohol is a lovely summmer-ey 4.8% ABV. This is a fun beer and could hold its own against beer-based beverages like a Shandy or Radler. A nice summer treat.
I give it a 3.9 out of 5.
From right here in Charlotte, Triple C Brewing Company is now canning 3C IPA, a traditional American IPA. The nose is packed with citrus and tropical fruit. The middle has lemon, grapefruit, a bit of ginger and then fades to a finish heavy with pine and grapefruit rind. The alcohol level is in the standard range for this style at a comfortable 6.2% ABV, and the body is medium weight. A very nice American IPA, hoppy without being crazy. It’s well balanced and a beautiful example of the style.
I give it a 4.4 out of 5.
CAVU is an aeronautical acronym for the term “clear and unlimited visibility.” In other words, the weather is fine, and smooth sailing is ahead. CAVU is a Blonde Ale from Charlotte’s NoDa Brewing Company and the sailing is smooth indeed as this is one of the finest summer lawnmower beers around. The nose has orange and pineapple, and the middle is lemony with some wheat giving it a mild, dry profile. The middle follows into the finish which becomes earthy and adds a hint of pine and grapefruit right at the end. The alcohol is a relatively light 4.6% and the body is light to medium. This is a deliciously balanced beer that isn’t overpowering in any way, and I’ll be enjoying it all summer long.
I give it a 4.6 out of 5.
Hop Drop ‘n Roll is an American IPA from the NoDa Brewing Company, right here in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hop Drop ‘n Roll is actually the beer that got NoDa started, way back in 2011. (I believe, anyway. I couldn’t find a definitive date.) The nose is remarkably heavy with pine. It’s strong enough to bring up scent memories of my childhood in the evergreen forests of the Pacific Northwest. The body is remarkably heavy for a non-Imperial style, and it offers massive flavor, leading with more pine and orange. As you move towards the finish, the texture changes to butter and the first sweet notes come into play with some sugary citrus. There’s a tiny hint of alcohol right at the end, which befits this 7.2% ABV brew. This is definitely a hop-forward concoction, and a masterful one at that. This is a fantastic example of an IPA.
I give it a 4.5 out of 5.