Freedom From Want

Alvarado Street Brewery Give Thanks IPA.

Brewmaster JC Hill of Alvarado Street Brewery refers to the licensing deal that allows them to use the iconic Norman Rockwell image of a family beaming as a golden brown roast turkey is presented to the table as a matter of “dumb luck.”

What’s inside the can, however, results from a skilled hand layering grains and hops. And more hops. Then adding hops.

Give Thanks is a smorgasbord of six different hops and four grains. The color of a creamsicle, the double IPA gushes across the palate with fresh orange and juicy mango. Pricks of pepper give it a lively edge, teasing the creamy sweetness of the malt. A trace of bitter zest eases nicely into a resinous savor that builds to a crescendo and then relaxes.

“We wanted to do a Thanksgiving feast of a beer,” Hill explains.

A heavy dose of dry hopping develops the tropical character that splashes so merrily. Yet the addition of oats to his blend of grains contributes a creamy heft. It’s both rich and juicy.

“It’s an anomaly,” Hill admits. “But it’s a lot like other hazy double IPAs.”

The application of the famous Rockwell image is fitting. If any piece of art promises plenty – a table brimming with flavors and textures (the wholesomeness is a bit of a stretch), it’s the one decorating this can. And yes, it’s also on tap.

ALVARADO STREET BREWERY is at 426 Alvarado St., Monterey. Open Sundays-Thursdays 11:30am-9pm, Fridays-Saturdays 11:30am-10pm. 655-2337, Locations in Carmel and Salinas, as well. Check website for times, menus.

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