More than ever, I need to work through the beers I've purchased myself to review. This one may be too late.
I picked up a bottle of Howling Hank IPA from my local Binny's in February. It's from Belly Up Beer Co., a nanobrewery in Western Springs. It was started by homebrewer Joe Fornari in 2015, with a small setup making 10 - 15 gallon batches for area taps. The label on this bottle I had notes that it was produced for Belly Up by Beltway Brewing, in Sterling, VA. However, I've found that Belly Up's Facebook and Twitter feeds haven't been updated since February. I've made queries, and will update this story if I hear anything new.
Belly Up has had two beers out: Two Toed, a wheat ale with orange, and this Howling Hank. It's described as a dry-hopped American IPA over two-row, caramel and Vienna malts.
The beer pours a hazy, deep orange color, with a big frothy head. The smell does has a note of Vienna lager malt, with a piney side of American hops. Taste has those Vienna and caramel malts balanced by the dry piney-ness of the dry hops. It's kind of the way we remember Goose Island IPA to be. And at 6.7% abv, it has a nice strong relaxing alcohol count.
I admit, some of the character may have come from this being in my basement beer room all summer. But this is a nice, more malt-forward IPA. One that I hope is still around for everyone to enjoy.