I’D TAP THAT: Rye-diculously good

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First Posted: 3/5/2013

Beer: Ticket to Rye

Brewer: Magic Hat Brewing Company

Style: American IPA

ABV: 7.10%

Description: Magic Hat’s Ticket to Rye pours a dark amber color with a light off-white head that sticks around for a bit. In the nose, there is a presence of pine from the hops, slight sour notes from the rye malt, and caramel as well, but none of it is overwhelming, and it’s all quite subdued. The taste follows the nose almost exactly, first the piney/spiciness from the hops, followed by the bite from the rye, and then the smoothness of the caramel malt. Ticket to Rye is a very solid beer that has a great malt backbone without losing out on the overall balance of the beer. This beer has great carbonation, but after swallowing, it still manages to leave behind a wonderful creamy texture that coats the palate. All in all, it’s a very solid beer from Magic Hat.w

Food pairing: An American IPA typically has a strong IPA bite that comes through due to the malt characteristics; however, with a rye malt base, the characteristics of the hops change subtly. The rye malt adds a bit of spiciness and sweetness to the beer and comes across as very caramel-like in flavor. This characteristic makes Ticket to Rye a great match for meat or chicken dishes, especially those with Cajun spices or charred a bit to caramelize the meat. Another great choice with this beer would be Indian or Thai dishes that have enough spice to taste, but not overwhelm the palate. Ticket to Rye would complement these spices, and the malt backbone would both enhance and subdue them as well. This is definitely a beer to mix and match with in the area of food, so pour yourself a glass and be adventurous!

Is it worth trying? Very much so! I must admit that I have never been a big fan of rye beers. Something about the spiciness and lingering malt flavor of it never appealed to me in the past, but I am very glad to say that Ticket to Rye has changed my mind about it. The perfect balance of this IPA has made me see the error of my ways with rye malt; it is yet another ingredient that can make wonderful beer in the hands of a great brewer. So if you are a little hesitant to try a rye beer, or if, like me, you have had them in the past and been turned off, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle of Ticket to Rye – it just may surprise you!

Rating: W W W W

Where can I get it? Currently available in bottles at: Exit 190 Beer & Deli, Dickson City; Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre; Wegmans, Dickson City and Wilkes-Barre.

Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

-Derek Warren is a beer expert, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be reached at NEPABeerGeek@gmail.com.