Greetings Commentists, lurkers, drunkards and all general riff-raff, to another edition of the Beer Barrel. Low Commander here, filling it for make it snow as he prepares for the avalanche of Oscars previews. which turned out to be perfect timing as I found something that I really wanted to share with all of you out there.
Pure Project Brewing is located in the heart of “Beeramar,” about 20 minutes northeast of downtown San Diego in an area that has become rather saturated with craft breweries. AleSmith, Protector and Intergalactic are just the names of a few breweries that I am particularly fond of nearby, but Pure has found a way to carve out a very special niche in consistently cranking out new recipes that are truly different and incredible on a small system. You would think that the small batch system would hinder their volume, but there is such a demand for their beers that lines often form well outside and around the corner on can release dates, and there is still enough leftover for those of us not crazy enough to wait hours for beer.
Pure started as one of the first breweries to try out the Brewery Igniter program in San Diego, which essentially is a type of Shark Tank for breweries that puts those with the skill and business plan in front of investors to front capital and help startup costs, typically on a two year program. This often puts two breweries side by side in an industrial park in the space normally reserved for one to help cover costs. The program has been subject to a few failures so far, but Pure is one shinning example of success, but it should be noted that there is alleged desperation to buy themselves out to allow for expansion. Having just celebrated their two year anniversary last month, it sounds like that time is near.
Pure has impressed me tremendously in the past with a Peach Triple IPA so smooth, I swore it was a single IPA (until I tried drinking another beer and realized that my taste buds had evaporated,) an Imperial Stout brewed with Carolina Reapers that I’m still considering paying $13 for a 16oz can of and many others. Their latest can release was on my birthday two weekends ago and one of my best friends brought me a four pack as a gift. When I finally got to try it this Monday, I knew I had to breed some sort of albino shouting gorilla write about how much I liked it.
Songs of the Deep is a hazy murky style Double IPA that Pure Project collaborated with Finback Brewing (Queens, NY) to create. Made with Citra, BRU-1, and Mandaria Bavaria hops, organic grapefruit and smoked sea salt, this bad motha sits at a modest 8.5% ABV and 40 IBUs. It pours extremely murky, like a pulpy grapefruit and vodka, with no head and seemingly low carbonation. Surprisingly, the smell is fairly weak, (kinda fruity and sweet) but the taste is…
When cold, the first sip was a clean citrus, juicy sweetness that envelopes the mouth. The grapefruit really comes through my nose rather than anywhere else, but after a moment, the whole thing folds into a tingly saltiness that nearly had me lose my mind. That salty bite is so unique that the only other thing that I can compare it to is a perfectly prepared Corona or margarita with salt on the rim. It’s a powerful flavor, but it contrasts from the rest of the beer in a complimentary, non-shocking way. The beauty is, the saltiness fades out at the end and is not really present in the initial sips following until the end! It’s a god damn masterpiece!
If you live locally, this beer is worth the drive alone to the brewery, and they have so much more to offer. If you are lucky enough to find cans of this anywhere, you buy it. Even for those that don’t like your traditional West Coast IPA, I assure you that the murky/unfiltered New England styles are so vastly different from what is expected that you need to try it. They’re not piney and bitter, they’re juicy and sweet. And this is one of the best ones that I’ve ever had.
[Banner image via]