Mason Ale Works: Charley Hustle
Style: Red IPA
Pair with: pork belly
Red IPAs seem to come few-and-far-between in a brewery's lineup, so every time I see one, I jump at the opportunity to taste it. This one is big, malty and still very easy to drink. There's a strong citrus nose on this beer and notes of dark fruit that follow. It is sweet in flavor for an IPA, making it extremely balanced and complex.
This beer comes to us from Mason Ale Works. We recently sat down with their brewer/cellarman, Jason De La Torre, to chat about the delicious brew. De La Torre has worked within the industry for a few years at Saint Archer and Golden Road before coming to brew for Mason.
De La Torre was inspired to create this particular beer based on his own personal affinity for Red IPAs.
"Before we opened, Mike and I would go to lunch on a regular basis, and one day we were sitting there and he's like, what kind of beers do you want to make?" he said. "I told him I have always loved Red IPAs like Alesmith's Evil Dead Red and My Bloody Valentine. They are amazing beers and Mike agreed. This was the second beer we made, and we were both really happy with it."
The process of brewing Charley Hustle is seemingly simple ingredient-wise, so we figured maybe it's the dry-hopping that brings out the best in this beer.
"Mike [Rodriguez], our other brewer, wrote this recipe. He's great, and he's been brewing for like 14 years. It's fairly simple. We used two-row, Crystal 77 and a variety of hops like Mosaic, Amarillo. It's also dry-hopped with 10-pounds of Citra, and that's where a lot of the fresh aroma comes from."
The beer itself is dark red in color and has a very sipable, smooth taste. It's thicker than your standard hoppy-brew due to the malt profile. De La Torre calls this beer one of his favorites that they brew, as well.
"This beer has been consistent. It's my go-to for our beers. It's complex, it's got a good medium body to it. It's not too high in alcohol for me because I usually like 4-percent range beers. This beer makes me happy," he said.
Curious about the name of this yummy libation? It's a play on the color red that the Mason Ale Works owners came up with.
"Grant, Zak, Mike and myself all sat in a room upstairs before we opened and decided on the beers we were going to brew for the first week. We needed names so we could file for label approval, and Grant referred to Pete Rose as a huge baseball fan. Cincinnati red, red beer, Charley Hustle...and no one complained about the idea. So that was our name," he said.
This beer is currently available on tap at Mason Ale Works. Get it while it's cold!
NOTE: This beer will only be undistributed for a limited time! Mason Ale Works is working on canning this incredible selection in the coming months.
Mason Ale Works, 2002 S. Coast Hwy, Oceanside. masonaleworks.com