3rd Wave Brewing’s 1st Wave IPA

One night, no one quite remembers exactly when or why, a brewery vanished. To be more accurate, the people working in the brewery vanished, leaving the building and the equipment to sit silently like a long forgotten shipwreck serving as nothing more than a reminder of the life and activity that had once filled its abandoned structure.

Where the old brewery workers went to, no one knows, but some say that they were whisked away to the far off realm of Mary’s Land.

And all remained quiet, until one night the brewery came to life with sound, and light, and smells. Once again the parking lot was a buzz with delivery trucks. The air smelled again of hops and malt. And the blur of activity could once again be seen in the dimly lit windows.

But who was responsible for this resurrection? Who had brought the brewery back to life? Well, locals whispered of two woman who had moved into the brewery and made it their new home with the intention of bring finely crafted beer back to the once silent structure.

Legend also says that one night, under the light of the full moon, these woman slipped into a nearby brewery and enticed a young man to follow them back to their home, a young man who had a gift of making good beers. The young man followed them back, and some say that he still wonders the brewery at night to this very day.

Or so it is said in legend.

………………………………..

OK, not really, but there is always an amount of truth to fables and legends. Lori Clough and Suellen Vickers did in fact buy the Delmar, Delaware brewing space that had been vacated by Evolution Brewing when that brewery decided to move up the road into Maryland.

They then reached out to John Panasiewicz who was brewing for the Iron Hill chain at the time and brought him on board to help brew their beers, many of them based on recipes that began on Suellen’s back porch.

The rest, if not legend, is at least history.

Tracey and I finally made it down to the brewery last October for our first Southern Swing (I probably should write about that someday, it was an awesome trip) and it’s just a quaint little place on a quiet road (that day, other days may vary) through the southern most town in Delaware.

3rd Wave started hitting the shelves in bottles, but after a while they started including beer in cans, something that I know long time readers know I’m a big fan of.

The beer I chose to hangout with this time is one of their bottled offerings, 1st Wave IPA, and since it’s 1st Wave, I decided to enjoy it while participating in some of the many firsts that have come around this time of year.

As always click on a photo to enlarge and cycle through them. You’ll find my thoughts on the beer after the gallery.

THEM: From their website – “Our American style IPA has a deep golden color and a great hop bitterness balanced with a malty sweetness. Brewed with American 2-row barley, Warrior, Northern Brewer and Cascade hops. The name stems from this being the first IPA beer we attempted.” 1st Wave clocks in at ~6.2ABV and ~63IBU.

BUZZ: Ratebeer (3.09/5), Beer Advocate (3.78/5), Untappd (3.36/5)

DE AVAILABILITY: Most fine beer outlets.

ME: My first two six packs of this were very enjoyable. 1st Wave pours a very pleasing orangish color with a topping of white fluffy foam.

The interesting thing that struck me about this beer is that although it’s billed as “American” I though it had a very English vibe to it. Maybe because of the northern brewer hops.

Malt/caramel are highly predominant in both the nose and the flavor, with the hops tucked in there nicely. This is not a “hop bomb” IPA, the flavor is well balanced on the malt base with the ending bitterness being a little more harsh than crisp, but just at the right level.

The interesting thing that struck me about this beer is that although it’s billed as “American” I though it had a very English vibe to it. Maybe because of the northern brewer hops. Anyway, at one point I found myself wondering how this beer would work in a cask, maybe with a handful of Northern Brewer hops tossed in for good measure (no hot peppers or gummy bears, please).

The third six-pack was a mystery. The first two beers were dead on 1st Wave, but the next three tasted completely different. The beer had a more floral/Belgian note to it, and I though maybe the beer had started to turn (bottling date was October of 2016). But to be honest, if it did, it turned into something that was enjoyably drinkable as the beer showed no normal signs of infection – in other words a nasty, foamy mess. The final bottle of the six was back to normal.

Based on the first two six-packs I’d recommend checking 1st Wave IPA out. It’s a pretty solid beer.

Time for another beer….