Red Hook: Copper Hook Copper Ale

I’ve just been told that I can do a regular column on Beer. What a blast. What they may not know is just how vast a subject it is – for it’s more than ‘just a drink’ with hops, water, and barley; it is a culture in and of itself, one that knows political borders only as lines past which labels are written in different languages, where recipes have multiplied for centuries.

The development of ideas and the making of beer have been closely related throughout history, and I don’t think that’s a simple coincidence. That wonderful fermented drink produces more than a great taste and a freer smile – it stimulates conversation, storytelling, the sharing of perspectives and a noble reason to travel.

I once had a friend who went through Redhook Brewery’s Longhammer IPA like it was the last drink on Earth. Not usually being much for IPAs myself (is it the pinot noir of beer? Perhaps), I was reluctant to his offering but still accepted, and in time, I gave in to its perpetual bite and ease.

I’m not sure I’d order it myself now, but the Longhammer label always makes me think of a beer or two before hitting the slopes on some late weekend morning, which is occasionally, and by far, the best time to enjoy beer.

On a recent and particularly snowy night out, I had a few of Redhook’s Copper Ale. Familiar taste, unfamiliar beer.  The flavor was fun and addictive like George Carlin in Shining Time Station. The head was thin and didn’t stick around long. It was a little malty, with a bit of sweet, to keep me coming back to it.

Even for the beer questers among us who search endlessly for new and different brews who know that home is somewhere, they’ll go back to enjoy it for a short time before packing for the journey once again.

Some beers are better going straight down, but swirling copper on my tongue made me want to head to the Richardson highway for some bonfires and snowboarding.  The carbonation was near perfect, too.

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It didn’t have shivers going down my spine, but kept the full flavor in the aftertaste, and faded slow.

Though the Copper Ale is nothing spectacular, I’d recommend it for a relatively cheap and delicious ascent above the piss-water brews, popular among the craft brewers.

Especially if you want to seem cooler to your beer snob friends than the time you showed up with a sixer of Corona. And it’s available just about anywhere.