4/1/17: Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company's Mothman Black IPA

1:53 PM

How was your March? Mine was pretty busy. I finished up my internship. I started (and finished) the latest Legend of Zelda. I was a (hopefully) doting and attentive fiancé. All while working full time. Needless to say, I didn't have much time for beer or cider--both in the writing and the making.

But March is over and it's April now. Which means that I should have time to enjoy, make, and write about beer. Yay! To celebrate, I'm kicking off this new post-internship John Likes Beer with a brew named after my favorite legendary entity: Greenbrier Valley's Mothman.

You guys all know about Mothman, right? (If you don't, click the link found at the previous "Mothman" to head over to the Wikipedia article on the thing.) It was the scourge of Point Pleasant, WV for a year in the 1960s. This winged extra terrestrial (dimensional?) harbinger of doom scared the hell out of some necking teenagers, brought about the onset of the Marvel-movie famous Men in Black, has ties to a further extra terrestrial (dimensional?) being known as Indrid Cold, and heralded the collapse of the Ohio River-spanning Silver Bridge before disappearing forever.

Regardless of the destruction this creature may have wrought upon Point Pleasant in the '60s, now it's somewhat a boon for the small West Virginia town. Apart from the famous Mothman statue (see the linked Wikipedia article), there's a Mothman Museum, a Mothman Festival, and (as I'm sure you suspect since you're reading this post) a Mothman beer (which isn't brewed in Point Pleasant, but whatever). 

For Valentine's Day, Michelle and I went to Mountain Stage in Charleston, WV. On the way back we passed by Point Pleasant. Having both gone to Ohio University (Athens is a stone's throw from Point Pleasant), the two of us are very familiar with, and big fans of, the Mothman legend. Sensing a once-in-a-lifetime chance, we decided to pull into the town to visit the Mothman Museum. We touristed up the place. Before leaving, I purchased the beer at hand. Does it live up to the Mothman legacy?

Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company came about in 2014 as a result of a love of beer and brewing. Mothman, one of the brewery's flagship offerings, was introduced in that same year. Greenbrier Valley is all about paying homage to West Virginia and its lore, so a Point Pleasant monster-inspired brew is a logically named choice.

Mothman, ringing in at 6.7% ABV, is a black ale that showcase the two hop varieties used in its creation. The official page (linked at the head of this paragraph) notes that one can find citrus, floral, and coffee flavors in each can.

First and foremost, my cats hate how this beer smells. Purrl (who wouldn't let me snap a shot of her near the can) gave it three brisk whiffs. Háma gave it one before backing away and staying still enough for a (blurry) picture. I, on the other hand, like the aroma. I get strong floral notes from its bouquet. Not much coffee or citrus to be had here, though.

Where I do find coffee is in the flavor. While it's quickly washed over by the hoppiness, it's present at the front. As I progress through my swig, I get the floral notes that are so easily discernible in the ale's aroma. Then, in the finish, I arrive at the citrus. This is the flavor that lingers around in my mouth. While it's not a citrusiness that I can attribute to any specific fruit, it's powerful, like what Mothman must've been.

This is a full beer. It expands rapidly into big bubbles. It's not small and fizzy; it's a bold mouthfeel that matches a bold flavor.

A somewhat rite of passage at OU (before the university ruined it by tearing down the place) was to visit the old Tuberculosis Ward at The Ridges--the ominous once-asylum overlooking Athens. My first trip to the TB Ward was during my freshman orientation. Some of the incoming freshman I hung out with that weekend were townies who, after a day's worth of officially sanctioned campus tours, offered to take a group of us to the Ridges.

It was night when we arrived. The old dilapidated TB Ward loomed over me as the unofficial tour guides regaled our small group with local legends of the place. I was terrified. That fear-inducing night is where my mind is wandering as I drink Mothman.

I'll cut to the chase--Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company's Mothman Black IPA gets a 8.5/10 from me. That score would probably be higher were I a fan of the style. So, if you like your beers hoppy, do yourself a favor and seek this out. Then drink it while reading up on the legend of West Virginia's Mothman.

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