However, because it is IPA Day, some of my favorite local establishments are running some great tap handles, including one of my favorites (for nostalgic reasons) – Burton Baton.
I was really into craft beer for about 8 months and I still couldn’t choke down an IPA. Steve kept trying. Every time he had a glass, he would shove it my way and beg me to take a sip. I always complied, but just couldn’t get past the bitterness and bite. That is until I tried Burton Baton.
Burton Baton just seemed to go down smoother. The bite was there, but it was quickly replaced with a malty balance. It was simply a fresh and clean beer that I really enjoyed. I think I had 2 or 3 my first night, which is dangerous, as it comes in at a whopping 10% ABV. Burton Baton is made by blending an Imperial IPA and an English old ale. The mixture is then aged in oak tanks. Dogfish Head calls this beer a “gentle giant” and it truly is.
But what this beer did for me was it allowed me to find my way into the hops arena. Not only did I realize that IPAs could be smooth, but that I really enjoyed the citrus hop flavor, as opposed to piney. I still prefer the citra-hop to this day!
I will always order a Burton Baton if I see one on tap at a bar. It may not be my favorite anymore, but it was a gateway into hops and it has a place of honor in my heart.
So, for my 2nd beer, and in honor of IPA Day, I will be drinking a Burton Baton.
*Update – I sometimes forget how much I like this beer. Drinking it again just reminded me of all of those reasons. I also tend to forget (every time) that it is a 10%. Burton Baton starts off with a hoppy bite and almost immediately mellows out from all of the maltiness. If you are not a fan of IPAs normally, I definitely recommend giving this one a try. The lingering bite that used to turn me off and the piney hop sting simply aren’t found in this beer. I will warn you that sometimes the bottle flavor is different from the tap flavor. This year, I had my Burton Baton on tap.