STONE IPA and PALE ALE

   All day I couldn’t get past the thought of wings. I wasn’t craving just any wings, but the best in town. Kimball’s, a local college bar, makes the best wings in the Billtown area. Wing contests have even proved there wing status for the last 3 years, they are superb. I don’t venture too far down the flavor list, I always stick with the mild wings. Which is just spicy enough, right in the middle for my liking. When we arrived at Kimball’s I eyeballed the beer selection, though not great, there are a couple good one’s in there. I settled on a Stone Brewing Pale Ale at first, which was quite mild. I suppose I expected a more pronounced version of a pale ale from the makers of Arrogant Bastard. It was uncommon to have a Pale Ale, that’s actually a pale ale. Beers have been forced up the ladder rungs, due to the excessive hopping of American beers. The bitterness up swing, far surpasses the IBU numbers of the old time English Ales. Beers are now approaching 200 IBU’s. I wonder where will this madness will stop. We are becoming so numb to the power of hops, it’s insane. We are soon not going to be able to enjoy beer anymore. We’ll be drinking purely steeped hops before long. Hop tea! I have enjoyed wandering back to the more traditional styles, that have expanded my palette beyond the excessive hops and malts. But that is for another time. Tonight I enjoyed an American favorite, Buffalo wings! The spice of the wings are accentuated with the hops of a Pale Ale or an IPA. Now, the IPA calms the hops much better than the Pale Ale did. The pale ale was a bit subdued to handle the spices of the mild wings that I ate, but I prefer a bit more hops when dealing with spice. I quickly switched to an IPA, which easily tackled the spice that the wings had to offer. The bitterness cut through the deep fried, fatty taste quite easily and also enhanced the spicy flavors as well. It was remarkable how a sip of beer would enhance the spicy, hotness and then mask the burning sensation for a short period of time. It was a wonderful combination. The Pale Ale, being more subdued seemed to marry better with the honey mustard wings that my wife had. As for the beer itself, it was a decent IPA, nothing too remarkable about it. I was actually a bit disappointed, given this brewery makes the Arrogant Bastard and Double AB. There was nothing memorable about either the pale ale or the IPA tonight, still good beers and went well with my meal. Always remember that:

beer + food = Barleydine 
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