In the heart of the Bible Belt, Nashville, Tennessee-based brewer Bearded Iris is churning out hazy IPAs that rival the best New England has to offer. With a focus on hazy and hoppy beer, Bearded Iris’ offerings quickly became anticipated releases and fodder for trade. Grabbing any of the brewery’s hazies (or other brews for that matter) will likely result in a fantastic beverage, but one that particularly has captured my palate is the double dry-hopped version of its double IPA Ever Clever. Bearded Iris takes an already brag-worthy double IPA and amps up the hops with an additional dose of Simcoe, Mosaic, Motueka, and Centennial.
Bearded Iris boasts some of the best can designs around. Ever Clever is no different, with a purple and green disco-esque font dotting the label which wraps around the chrome can. As for the beer itself, it’s a very hazy golden-orange in the glass. A frothy white head collects on top of the bright body to cap off a very juicy-looking beer.
Double Dry-Hopped Ever Clever is a great example of why dry-hopped, hazy IPAs have captivated the craft beer community.”
If a brewer goes through the effort and expense of double dry-hopping a beer with four hop varieties, it better result in some serious aroma. Ever Clever nails it, with huge notes of pineapple and mango. It smells like tropical fruit juice. Hints of wheat and the beer’s 8.5% ABV serve as a reminder that this is a double IPA.
Bearded Iris says Ever Clever is “bursting,” “foxy,” and “intricate.” I’m not sure about foxy, but this beer is definitely bursting with fruitiness and layered with intricate hoppy flavors. The taste is more bitter than the aroma lets on, with plenty of biting hops to clean up the sweet mango, pineapple, and citrus. But make no mistake, the fruit flavors derived from the excessive hopping are what make Ever Clever among the best in its class. As you near the bottom of the glass, some vegetal flavors creep in due to the massive amount of residual hop particulate, though that is easily fixed with a careful pour.
Double Dry-Hopped Ever Clever is a great example of why dry-hopped, hazy IPAs have captivated the craft beer community. It pairs vibrant tropical flavor with just enough of a bitter punch to offset the style’s sweetness. It’s simply a damn fine double IPA.