Surveying today’s craft beer landscape, it is sometimes difficult to remember that a clear IPA did not always mean one stripped to the bone of malt. In fact, caramel malt was once a hallmark of the hoppy beers gracing our presence in decades past. Bombay By Boat is a periscope view of this brewing tradition, and furthermore explicitly references the origins of the India Pale Ale right there in the title. Firmly bitter with that tried-and-true pine/grapefruit dichotomy that leads one to wax rhapsodic.
As if it weren’t enough to mark the debut of Moonlight in San Diego, we received (in addition to their three core offerings) a brand-new lager, at the same time as delighted drinkers up north. Pale Dry Lager is a pitch-perfect biscuity Helles, bready and clean, with impressive head retention. The foam cascades downwards into the liquid seconds after the pour off the draft-line (like pulling a shot of espresso) before forming a solid layer atop thereafter, eventually settling in like a comfy easy chair. The lace curtains on the edge of the glass bring the metaphor full circle.
Just in time for Tax Day, the beer that put Moonlight on the map has arrived. As with other exquisitely crafted black lagers, this is the ideal beer to demonstrate that “dark” and “heavy” are not synonymous. Cold roast dances up to the edge of bitterness before drawing back, with a silken velveteen texture on the palate. The only two sure things in life are…?