I know absolutely nothing about Melvin Brewing Co. For some reason, I was under the delusion that it was in the San Diego area. I was so convinced of this fact, I started writing about the last time I was in San Diego. Two paragraphs of decent prose deleted because, upon further review, Melvin Brewing is located in Alpine, Wyoming, near the state’s border with Idaho.
This begs many questions. Why did I believe Melvin was brewed in San Diego? Why didn’t I bother to fact check sooner? Since when did Wyoming stop being the punchline of a George Carlin bit and gain full-fledged statehood?
Maybe it’s a product of how I’m buying beer these days. I still peruse the aisles at my local Wegmans, a mid-Atlantic grocery chain with a large and diverse craft beer selection. As a result, my bottle shop trips are less frequent than they were previously. More and more, I’ve found myself paying attention to the alerts that pop up on my iPhone screen twice a day from Tavour.
Tavour, a Seatlle-based dot com, sells and cellars beer. Twice each weekday, and usually once each weekend day, it releases a limited number of bottles and cans for sale. You order the beer through the app and Tavour cellars it for a couple of weeks, just in case you decide to order anything else, and sends it private courier to your house, apartment or commune.
Pineapple, mango, and guava explode forth with some undertones of citrusy sweet tangerine.”
Beers appear on screen from Modern Times, Breakside, and Council Brewing, all unavailable in my neck of the woods. I can even get an IPA from Melvin Brewing, which may or may not be located in Wyoming.
Melvin makes a lovely pale ale that I have had once and, earlier this year on Feb. 4, released its 2x4 double IPA, which pays homage to the patron saint of lumber, Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Its IPA is deeply complex and well worth the price tag.
The IPA pours golden with a sudsy foam cap that dissipates into a fine lacing. But, we’re not here to look at the beer.
Get close to it, close your eyes and breath deep. The blend of hops transforms itself into a fruit salad, and not like the flimsy ones you buy in the cup at Starbucks but the nice one at that resort in Fort Lauderdale you stayed at with your parents a few years ago that had the really fluffy bathrobes. Pineapple, mango, and guava explode forth with some undertones of citrusy sweet tangerine. Take a second whiff and you begin to notice some floral notes. It’s not dank or grassy, but pleasant and clean.
Open your eyes, because I would hate to have you miss your mouth with the glass. Right up front, you get the telltale resiny pine of the west coast IPA. You think it might dominate, but the tropical fruit kicks to complement. Some hints of toffee sweetness come in at the end to balance things out from the malt side. It’s crisp, but with a spicy pine kicker that reminds you of what you just drank.
It’s moderate in body, creamy in feel with a nice alcohol warmth. The alcohol is present in the flavor, which is a slight turnoff, but then you take a nice big sniff of the beer and find yourself lost back at the resort all over again.
Melvin’s distribution network gets it through the Pacific Northwest, where IPAs are a dime a dozen, and into Idaho and Wyoming, where I’m pretty sure you can still trade beaver pelts for beer. And, if you can find it on a site that ships beer or an app like Tavour, it’s well worth picking up a few cans.