JARED’S NOTE: For a title reference, please take a time machine to 1997.
There are no regrets on my trip to San Francisco in 2012, but there is some unfinished business. We never made it to Berkeley or a Giants game. I want to sit for dinner at French Laundry and/or Ad Hoc in Yountville, and maybe explore more of the Marin Headlands. And, I want to see more West Coast breweries. We had a chance to hit Anchor Brewing in Potrero Hill, but passed because of reasons I cannot remember. Truthfully, I think I would rather sneak down to Hunters Point and visit Speakeasy Ales & Lagers.
Speakeasy’s beer gets to 12 states in this fine union, though its reach to the State of New York is only half true. While it does breach the border, this beer is found exclusively in New York City and on Long Island. I often grab a bomber or sixer while visiting friends in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. This fact bothers me because Upstate New York is an exceptional region for beer enthusiasts, but our state’s beer laws are for crap. Pennsylvania’s restrictions on breweries are more lax, but the Commonwealth’s arcane blue laws are tiring. Cases can only be purchased from a distributor, while smaller packages of 192 total ounces or less can be obtained at a bottle shop or grocery store, but only the latter since 2012 or 2013 and only if they have an attached restaurant because The Keystone State has an arcane rule that beer for off-premises consumption can only be purchased from a bar or eatery. The number of licenses per county in Pennsylvania is based on population.
And forget about buying beer at a gas station. Where we have growler sales at our local Sunocos and Byrne Dairys, gas plus beer apparently equals sin.
Thank God Prohibition ended in 1933.
None of this has anything to do with Speakeasy other than the fact that I can only find its beers when I visit my sister on Long Island or my friends in PA. I blame both of our awful states for this injustice.
The Baby Daddy Session IPA is the low octane entry from Speakeasy’s “Daddy” series of IPAs — Big Daddy is the flagship and Double Daddy is the double IPA. Unlike others in its class, the Baby Daddy is hazy and pretty low in carbonation. It has a citrusy aroma but with a flavor that you don’t often get in an IPA: lime. There’s a little bit of pine here, but this is largely fruit in flavor. The body is light and easy to drink without being watery or tasting diluted. And, it might have the greatest can design in the history of beer can design. So, Speakeasy…another reason to visit Pennsylvania.
Brewer: Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Beer: Big Daddy Session IPA
ABV: 4.7% IBU: 35
Container: 12 oz. can
Price: $9.99 (purchased as a six pack) Point of Purchase: Abe’s Cold Beer, Bethlehem, Pa.
To The Eye: Golden and hazy. I poured too hard so I got a thick head that eased into a nice lacing. Bubbles were very light with this one.
To The Nose: Citrusy but not strong.
To The Palate: The hop construct delivers a citrus flavor with hints of lime.
Aftertaste: Dry with a slight pine flavor at the end.
Boozy Factor: Session.
On a Scale of 1 to 10, with 10 as highest: 9 (it’s really an 8 plus an extra point for the can design)