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When Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, released Yakima Twilight last year, the Black IPA hybrid-style beer became the brewery’s most popular seasonal to date. Fans of Victory’s other seasonal fresh harvest, or wet-hopped ale, Hop Wallop, know that’s pretty impressive.

This year the beer’s name has been changed to Yakima Glory (rumored to be a result of a cordial dispute with Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery over their Twilight Ale). Alas, arguments are no stranger to this beer, as the debate continues over whether a “pale” ale can also be called “dark.”

Yet the beer thrives in the face of adversity. Yakima Glory is an 8.7%-ABV complex brew made with rich roasted malts and fresh whole flower hops from the Yakima Valley in Washington. The intense dark malt character and citrusy hop bite make this beer a little taste of heaven…and hell. I had my first sip of this season’s ambrosia on cask at Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont a couple weeks ago and loved both sides of its personality.

I have since spotted it at Connecticut Avenue Wines in Dupont Circle and Cleveland Park Liquor and Fine Wines. At the latter location the shop keeper had six-packs of Yakima Twilight and Yakima Glory side-by-side and tried to convince me he had gotten one that week and the other “a few months ago.” Not very likely since the Twilight was produced last fall and sold out by February.

Although wet-hopped ales like this one are the last beer you would ever want to age because the whole point is to drink them when the hop flavor is fresh, I suppose it would be interesting to compare the two. A few fellow beer nerds have told me they prefer last year’s release to this year’s. What about you?

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