Over the years, Back of the Ferry’s great friend and member – Rachel – has bought back some remarkable beers from the United States. Her most glorious moment was when she bought back a Pliny the Elder, which was given the royal treatment on Sydney Harbour. Like most of the US beers that have been tried on Back of the Ferry, Pliny the Elder came from California – as did the most recent of Rachel’s offerings, Sculpin IPA. Rachel challenged a bottle-shop proprietor on her most recent trip to find something really out there – and there’s no doubt she delivered. Firstly, this beer is from the United States and not from California and secondly a Double IPA is not the most common variety found in Australia. Meltdown Double IPA is made by the Midnight Sun brewing Co. which is located in Anchorage, Alaska. They’ve been brewing since 1995 and make a solid range of all-rounders with suitably Alaskan names like Sockeye Red Ale and Kodiak Brown. There’s also the delightfully named Panty Peeler Tripel – enough said. Meltdown is one Midnight Sun’s annual seasonals and is designed for summer drinking. This is a meaty, meaty IPA. Sniffing it is half the fun, but drinking/chewing this down is even better. I was expecting some heat from the “scorchin’ hops”, (none there), but there was no shortage of bitterness. Meltdown weighs in a squinting 80 IBUs and it got the better of illiards, who retreated to the relative comfort of a Vale IPA. I loved it – a sensational sipper and one worthy of the Back of the Ferry full beerp0rn treatment.
The presence of an Alaskan on board, got illiards and I thinking about how many of the 50 United States we’d covered by beer since Back of the Ferry’s been going. One of these days, I’ll work out how to download our statistics from Untappd, but a quick perusal through the BotF archives would indicate that we’ve tended to be pretty bi-coastal, with the majority of beers coming from either California or New York. Other states have made only one or two appearances. So far, we would have appeared to have only covered 8 of the 50 states. According to this article from a great website called First we Feast, there is at least one beer brewed in each of the 50 states (and for good measure the District of Colombia). So the challenge is now there for us – 51 beers 50 states + DC. Eight down – 43 to go. For the record the seven states are: Vermont (Magic Hat), Pennsylvania (Victory), Oregon (Rogue Ales), Massachusetts (Samuel Adams), Missouri (Budweiser) California (plenty), New York (plenty) and now Alaska.
Now, how we are going to lay our hands on a tin of Narragansett?