Black Shirt Brewing's Red Evelyn: Not Your Grandma's Beer

by Nathan Solheim on Aug 22, 2016 in Beer

Craft beers are produced for all kinds of reasons. Some people want big hops. Others want to make the most alcoholic beer ever. Still others want to brew the most acidic of sour beers.

The brewers at Black Shirt Brewing Company made Red Evelyn to honor their grandmother, Evie, a woman they call “their rock.” But before you read too much into the inspiration, please understand that this beer is anything but the fermented equivalent of the sweet old lady who used to bake cookies and baby sit occasionally — Red Evelyn’s style is listed as an imperial red rye IPA. This is a big, complex beer with lots going on.

The 2015 edition, poured from a bomber into an IPA glass, falls into line with the rest of Black Shirt’s line-up in terms of color. It’s red. At 10 percent ABV, Red Evelyn could be accused of being a heavy sipper, but it’s fairly easy to drink. In Red Evelyn’s smell, you’ll detect citrusy floral sweetness—a perfume of sorts for craft-beer beer fans that’s still pleasant and unassuming.  In terms of taste, this is a brew for two types of beer geeks — hop heads and rye nuts. There’s definitely a grapefruit presence that overpowers its caramel backbone, while the hops also serve up a healthy dose of pine. With a helping of rye in the malt bill, there’s a bit of spiciness added to a clean, dry finish. In the American south, a beer snob might say Red Evelyn is so good you’ll slap your grandma.

It’s amazing how well this beer comes together when you think of all the ingredients and work that goes into it. As such, a complex beer like Red Evelyn should age well. In fact, Black Shirt brewers will encourage you to do so and, therefore, each bottle is dated with the year. We recommend buying some Red Evelyn to drink up right away and toss another one in the back of the fridge for later. No matter what you do, take the occasion to raise a glass and toast your feminine forebears.

Photo via Black Shirt Brewing Company on Facebook 

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