Where in Town: Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, 300 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Price: $8.99/500 ml
‘Tis the season for beer lists to continue their cold-weather slide. Goodbye, refreshing wheat beers and pale ales. Hello, boozy barleywines, spicy Christmas ales, and black-as-coal imperial stouts. (And good riddance, pumpkin beers, you nutmeg-and-vegetable Frankensteins.) But even if there’s a time for every beer under heaven, why let all that thirst-quenching goodness fly south for the winter? Do the beer world’s equivalent of eating ice cream year-round and wearing white after Labor Day: pop this “South Pacific style” pale ale, because down under, of course, it’s nearly summer.
Thornbridge, based in England, makes some of the U.K.’s most innovative beers, and Kipling is no exception. It features Nelson Sauvin hops, a New Zealand variety whose passion fruit and gooseberry flavors are thought to resemble those of the country’s Sauvignon Blanc wines. (In fact, former Thornbridge brewer Kelly Ryan, now at New Zealand’s Epic Brewing Company, is a Kiwi.) Golden blond, with aromas of grass and tropical fruits, this medium-bodied beer has a bracing bitterness, a brown sugar flavor, and a funk similar to—nerd alert—tepache, the fermented pineapple drink found in both taquerias and Mexican prisons. “The sourness reminds me a little of malt liquor,” a friend tells me. That’s a good thing, she adds, since she’s only sipped the stuff outside. On porches. In the hot summer sun.