Tasting: August 25, 2015
Style: Imperial IPA
Beer #: 788
The original thirteen colonies became the first thirteen states to form our union. Vermont became the fourteenth state and I’ll assume that since there is a star on our flag for each state, that 14th Star Brewing is a tribute to Vermont’s place on our flag and in US history.
I love the serendipitous nature of writing this blog – in researching the source of the name – I got an education on Vermont and their entry into statehood. Even though they sent troops to fight in the Revolutionary War, Vermont was not recognized as a state or colony – rather, it was land that fell between the British provinces of New York and what was known as the New Hampshire Grants. For fourteen years, Vermont was known as the Vermont Republic. Their ultimate entry into statehood in 1791 was contested by land and jurisdiction claims by New York and New Hampshire.
Another story worth sharing is the creation of 14th Star Brewing by founder Steve Gagner. Their website says that while Gagner was deployed in Afghanistan he dreamed of two things – beer and getting out of the Army. Now located in St. Albans, Vermont, Gagner hasn’t forgotten his Army roots as a portion of the proceeds of 14th Star’s flagship beer – Valor – goes to Purple Hearts Reunited, an organization that returns lost or stolen medals of valor to those that earned them. I think that’s a cause that we can all get behind – cheers.
I had targeted a list of beer to find on my trip to Vermont and Tribute proved to be an evasive target. Even though I had been more than a dozen beer stores, I hadn’t come across a single can. While picking up my case of Heady Topper at Hunger Mountain Coop, the trolley cart filled with these bright green cans was almost as exciting as holding my case of Heady Topper.
Had this for the first time in group while sharing some Heady Topper and some Sip of Sunshine and frankly, Tribute can proudly stand up in that crowd. Enjoyed another sole and I describe Tribute as having a rich mouthfeel, nice solid malt backbone. It isn’t as bitter as Heady and has a bit more sweetness and that might turn some people off. I think it has just enough bitterness to balance it out. I enjoyed Tribute to the tune of 94 points.