There can only be one undistributed beer of the week. The competition is fierce in San Diego's beer community, but someone has to take the title. This week's best undistributed beer is...
Modern Times Beer: Divine Smite
Pair with: carnitas tacos
This tasty brew is big, juicy and piney. The beer offers an effervescent mouth feel with a huge bite of hops. There are also lingering notes of citrus in this hazy-yellow beer that balance it and make for an enjoyable yet strong sunny-day drink.
The story: We got the scoop about this Modern Times classic-in-the-making from Andrew Schwartz, Special Projects Brewer at Modern Times. This overhopped and exuberant beer was made with a purpose -to expose the brewer's favorite tastes in one cohesive brew.
"Our process is very collaborative. At Modern Times we have a shared mission and similarly discerning palettes," Schwartz said. "For Divine Smite, we shot for an eight-percent Imperial IPA that radiates our favorite aspects of new wave hops."
These "new wave" hops come through quite well in this beer, with an electic mix of hops from across the world, like Calypso hops and J-17 from South Africa.
"We chose the hops that best express a sort of citrus juiciness that we were looking for. J-17 is known for its oozing tropical fruit and ripe pineapple," he said. "Calypso is slightly underipe guava, bright acidic grape, lemon skin and a little spice. We also add a couple supporting characters."
The fruity flavors help to balance out the strong hop-profile, allowing for a tropical flavor that we can picture San Diegans enjoying all year long. The brewery uses a minmal malt bill in order to allow the aromas and hop-characteristics to be the shining stars of the show. They also use the yeast from their popular Orderville IPA in this beer.
"We also utilize our house 'Orderville' yeast, known for its use in our Orderville IPA, allowing it to ferment vigorously and produce unique peach and light stone fruit esters. Esters are the chemicals often responsible for fruit aromas and flavors. In this case, the esters create a background flavor that is complex even before addition of dry hops," Schwartz said.
As for the name, although names "aren't important" as Schwartz says, it comes from a fantastical and utopian background, as do many of Modern Times' beers.
"This name refers to a particularly devastating magical attack performed most commonly by a student of holy enchantments, such as a Paladin," Schwartz said.
Well, I'm no afficiando of the magical world or what importance Paladin holds, but like Andrew said, the name is truly isn't important. What matters is that you get out to try this tasty beer while you can.
This beer is currently available to try on tap at Modern Times Brewing Co. Get it while it's cold!
Modern Times Beer: Lomaland Fermentorium, 3725 Greenwood St., Point Loma or Flavordome, 3000 Upas St., North Park. moderntimesbeer.com