When Beavertown beers first started to appear in our shops, 8 Ball, the rye IPA was one of the canned offerings I was most looking forward to trying, rye being a new favourite beer ingredient of mine. It's a shame it took this long to procure, but the results were at least worth it.
8 Ball is hazy and orange and smells like sharp, coppery-bitter orange skins and sweet marmalade from the off. There's a sort of wet grainy biscuit thing and a suggestion of grass, but the real joy comes on the palate - as it should. Again, it's all juicy orange marmalade, rind and grapefruit. There's a good bit of residual sugar in there too, and the overall effect is of a bittersweet and admittedly unsophisticated beer, but it's plenty enjoyable for all that. However, like the previous Beavertown releases I've tried, the price is a tad too high to encourage me to repurchase, especially as Irish beers of this sort (*coughSimcoeRustbucketcough*) do a better job below the price.
Another recent Beavertown appearance was Holy Cowbell, a so-called India Stout. It certainly smells that way, bursting with fistfuls of grapefruit, mango and mandarin, with particular emphasis on the zesty bitter skins thereof. The bright, punchy effect of the aroma is enhanced by the fact that the beer pours opaque and black and supports a thick creamy off-white head. The taste is a perfect interpretation of the beer's name; it's milky and smooth in texture, carrying traces of cocoa powder and the like, but with plenty of the bitter, astringent tropical fruit and lemon zest in behind.
Where 8 Ball is underwhelming but enjoyable, Holy Cowbell excels, and the best beer I've had from Beavertown yet.