wpid-img_20150912_202220.jpgAh, Armed ‘N Citra. We meet again! Kole and I spent a Saturday afternoon at the Stockyards recently, doing wonderfully adult things like buying pants. Tragic, I know. Clutching a brand new Halloween costume for a dog (he’s going as a hamburger, in case you asked), we made our way over to nearby Rainhard Brewing Company and quickly made our way through the 5 or 6 beer offerings on tap. We brought home a few beers for sharing and reviewing on a clean palate. Journalistic integrity, and all. Or something? But a dry hopped beer deserved a fresh palate and legible note taking.

I had a chance to sample the very first publicly offered keg of Armed ‘N Citra, the very first beer offering from Rainhard Brewing at the March edition of Society of Beer Drinking Ladies. I have a certain fondness for brews that cross my lips at these events, and a particular fondness for new breweries. For months I thought this brew only contained the much-coveted citra hops, but a closer examination of the label lists a full hop salad of German Magnum, Chinook, Citra and Simcoe hops. Mmmm, you can make friends with this kind of salad, at 5.2% ABV and 45 IBU. We brought home a few 650 ml bottles, but apparently I didn’t keep the receipt. Sorry guys. It was New Pants Day, after all.

Appearance: Golden colour, surprisingly clear in the glass for an unfiltered brew. Off white lasting head.

Aroma: Strong hoppy aroma, lots of mango and pineapple, and plenty of the characteristic citrus fruits you would expect from citra hops. Maybe even some pomelo?

Taste: Grassy taste – this is a very hop forward beer, with very little malt backbone. The hops are the star of the show.

Aftertaste: More hops, baby.

Overall: Pair this bold hoppy beer with chilli or fresh Thai food – it lends itself wonderfully to spicy food. I thought I preferred this option from Rainhard, but I’ve discovered I’m a definite convert to their Lazy Bones offering. I’ll still gladly order it when I see it on a local tap list.

Shawna O'Flaherty

Shawna is a 30-something Montreal native transplanted to Toronto in 2010. Wine loving, beer sniffing and rum swilling come naturally to her, and she is also a certified Irish whiskey taster. She has hosted beer and cheese pairing events in the past.

Shawna has visited vineyards in 6 countries on 3 continents, and has a knack for finding the hoppiest beers around.

She can be found drinking alka-seltzer and coconut water in the morning.

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com

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