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Where in Town: D’vines, 3103 14th St. NW
Summer Beer for Winter People
In the warmer months, I usually reach for easy-drinking beers: refreshing saisons, mouth-puckering sour ales, hoppy IPAs, or whatever light lager is on hand at a buddy’s barbecue. For something different, I recently turned to North Carolina’s Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, which has specialized in dark beers for almost a decade. Its summer offering, first introduced last year, is a creamy, 7.3 percent alcohol American black ale called Hoppy Bunny. Beers of this style, a.k.a. Black IPA or Cascadian Dark Ale, taste like an iced espresso with a shot of grapefruit juice. Granted, this might not be your thing. But for those of us who need a break from the sunshine once in awhile, a beer like Hoppy Bunny works nicely in the summer rotation.
Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, founded by a former philosophy professor, borrows as its logo the duck/rabbit figure famously used by Ludwig Wittgenstein to demonstrate the interpretive nature of human perception. The brewery’s latest release is suitably ambiguous: Its roasted malts impart the black appearance, dark chocolate and coffee flavors, and intensely bitter finish of a porter, while eight hop additions produce the strong pine and citrus characteristics of an IPA (with a hint of spearmint, thanks to a New Zealand variety called Motueka). In one moment, Hoppy Bunny is the duck; in another it resembles the rabbit. Unlike the image, though, the beer can be perceived as both things simultaneously.
Photo by Tammy Tuck