what: Cottontown Brew Lab Blue Zip Tie IPA

ABV:7.6

price:$6 at Indah Coffee Co.

Cottontown Brew Lab had their launch party this past week at Indah Coffee Co., and by all accounts it was a rousing success, as they blew all their kegs. Folks must have liked what they tried of Columbia’s newest brewery. There was a Winter Warmer Ale available just for the event that proved so popular that they are planning on scaling the recipe up so that it’s hitting shelves in late January, just in time for the cold weather. Perhaps my favorite of the day, though, was the Blue Zip Tie IPA, one of Cottontown’s flagship year-round beers. The somewhat strange name comes from the brewery’s beer selection process. Head brewer Brandon Evans and owner Zack Jones have been hosting blind taste testings to determine which recipes people liked the most, and would distinguish all the different kegs only by different colored zip ties. The keg with the blue zip tie on it kept coming out on top in tasting after tasting, and it’s easy to see why. This is a truly crushable IPA that has just enough bitterness to keep hopheads happy but still can be enjoyed during Columbia’s warm weather. The 7.6 ABV is extremely well-hidden behind the floral hop notes and smooth finish. So much so that it could be a little dangerous if you’re not careful. You can give it a try yourself at Indah Coffee, or try the handy beer locator at beerfinder.comerdistributing.com. — Tug Baker

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