Four Cheers for Hangar 24
By Lynn Lieu
Since 2008, Hangar 24 has grown from servicing local restaurants and bars in its hometown of Redlands to distributing all over California. By now, most of you should already know the brewery’s history and its local ties. If not, you should probably crawl out of the cave you’ve been living in since . . . well, 2008.
While the celebration hosted some local eateries and had music playing all day long, the real entertainment was the beer.
Up for tasting were year-round favorites: Orange Wheat, Alt-Bier, Helles Lager, Columbus IPA and Double IPA. I’ve personally had the Orange Wheat more than I can remember and while it’s a nice light beer for hot afternoons my favorite of the year-round brews is the Alt-Bier. But on Saturday it was all about the tasting and when it came to that, both the Columbus and Double IPAs won me over.
Just to clarify, I am not an IPA-kind-of-person. When I order a beer, an IPA is furthest from my list of happy hour faves—the girly-martini-lover in me says, “No, it’s just too damn hoppy!” But I do have a lot of respect for the brew. With all that said, the Columbus was surprisingly delicious. It’s loaded with hops but the flavor takes over the bitterness making it well-worth drinking a full glass. The Double on the other hand was a lot lighter. With the flavors typical of a hef or saison, the Double also packed a good mouthful of hops leaving you with a lighter tasting brew.
Outside of the year-round brews I found the Essence, Palmero and 4th Anniversary Beer among the top of my list. The Essence is another IPA with a touch of fruit. If I remember correctly there was a hint of grapefruit in its aroma. Not as dark as the Columbus and perhaps not as aromatic as the Double but delicious none-the-less.
The Palmero is possibly my favorite of the day. Brewed with dates, this Belgian Dubbel was the perfect balance of sweet and malty. It’s probably the dates. It’s probably my love of Beligian brews. Or maybe it’s that amazing malt taste of beers that put the Palmero at the top of my list. Whatever it is, I wish I bought a growler full (or five) because this is a beer I can drink all year long.
And last but not least the 4th Anniversary Beer. The last anniversary brew was a tart Belgian blonde that everyone could not stop talking about. In contrast the 4th Anniversary Beer is a dark brew. For me, a good dark beer is hard to find. There’s the chocolately ones, which sometimes come off too sweet to finish a glass and there’s the ones that just taste like, well, soy sauce. The 4th Anniversary was just the right amount of sweet. Soy sauce is not how I would describe this beer at all. And on the plus side, it wasn’t too filling, which pretty much left me finishing two glasses.
Bottoms up, everyone!