What this is not is a shameless plug for my own beer. You can be assured of that since I don’t actually brew beer myself, instead letting others do all the hard work and then (shamelessly, I promise you) reaping all the benefits. One person I’ve been lucky enough to do this with is my friend Trevor Doyle. From a plastic cup filled with Pale Ale while “tailgating” in a parking lot to a Berliner Weisse on the back deck of one of our homes, I’ve learned to never pass up a chance to try one of Trevor’s beers, as good as they are. So this is most definitely a plug for Trevors’ beers instead. And it comes well deserved and absolutely shamelessly. It also comes as a recommendation of sorts which most anyone in Roanoke can act upon, because soon, Trevor – with a little help from his friend Bryan at Big Lick Brewing – is bringing one of his recipes to the taps at Big Lick, possibly as soon as this weekend.
“Strangest Tribe” is a Pale Ale made with Simcoe, Centennial, and Amarillo hops which is then dry hopped with that same line up and comes in at around 5% abv. The beer also benefits from an addition of oats, offsetting what would be a thinner body from such a lower abv beer. Borrowing a name from a Pearl Jam song, as many of Trevor’s beers do, Strangest Tribe should come across with plenty juicy hop character from the Amarillo and Simcoe, both of which are known for their citrusy qualities. Amarillo often pushes up an orangey, somewhat grapefruity aroma, and while some like to pigeonhole Simcoe for largely pine like notes, for me, beers using the hop also blast forth a grapefruit like, citrusy aroma as well.
But when it comes to trying Trevors’ beers, especially in his company, it’s not all about the beer. If you happen to know Trevor, you are well aware that he not only has the ability to make good beer, but he comes with more than a few stories to tell and even more (often sharply pointed) opinions on a wide range of topics, which include, of course, the different circumstances by which to enjoy good beer. I remember he once mentioned how he appreciates a person who can simply enjoy having a beer without spending fifteen minutes dissecting it down to its individual molecules. I believe the description was, “He’s just a guy you can grab a beer with”. I appreciate the same thing. I’m looking forward to trying Strangest Tribe, and hopefully I’ll run into Trevor down at Big Lick while doing so. After all, Trevor has always been “one of those guys” you can definitely just grab a beer with. Perhaps being that way somehow affects the care he takes in making his beer, and is why, like many of the others I’ve tasted, Strangest Tribe will be great as well.