Ale Asylum - Velveteen Habit
- ABV: 7.5%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 54
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: IPA Glass, Tulip
- Malts: Pale, Dextrin, Crystal, Dark Crystal
- Hops: Citra, Cascade
Pouring a hazy, deep amber color with a fluffy head of persistent foam which laces nicely, Velveteen Habit looks pretty inviting as we raise it up for a sniff. Rated Wisconsin's Best IPA by Milwaukee Magazine in a blind tasting in 2015, this IPA offers up strong citrus notes of grapefruit, lime, and orange, with hints of tropical fruit, peach-like stone fruit, and strong secondary floral hop notes. There's an easily noticeable undercurrent of caramelized malt too. As we take a sip, the first thing we notice is how prominent the malt profile is here compared to most IPAs, which isn't surprising given the beer's rich color. Look for generous caramel and toasty notes with a touch of residual sweetness which overlays a bit of a candied impression on the citric hop elements. Those hops come through with resinous and zesty fruit notes underpinned by floral character, while hop bitterness melds with a touch of spicy, fruity booze (especially as it warms) to offer plenty of counterpoint to the robust malts. For pairing options, we're thinking sweet & sour chicken, roasted pork with an apple or apricot glaze, a snack of goat or blue cheese with sliced apple or pear, or a spicy Asian chicken salad with a healthy dose of mandarins. Cheers!
Madison, Wisconsin's Ale Asylum got its start back in 2006 when partners Dean Coffey, Otto Dilba, and Otto's wife, Hathaway, began brewing in a small industrial park location. Dean and Otto met while working together at the now closed Angelic brewpub in downtown Madison. Dean dreamt of being able to brew on a larger scale than what the brewpub could offer, and to bottle his beer and sell it at retail. Otto was ready to build a business and use his marketing skills to grow it. When Angelic decided to quit brewing to focus solely on being a bar, the time was right—Ale Asylum was founded, using Angelic's cast-off brewing system.
Fast forward to 2012. Ale Asylum had grown too big for their small 8,000 sq. ft. facility, so they built a brand new 45,000 sq. ft. brewery on a 4.5-acre plot of land that provides them plenty of room to expand in the future. Their old 13-barrel brewing system was replaced by a 33-barrel system, and a much larger bottling line was purchased from Atlanta's SweetWater Brewing Company that enables them to produce up to 277 bottles per minute, as opposed to the old line's 70. In addition, visitors to the brewery can enjoy a variety of brews and pub-style food in Ale Asylum's large Tasting Room and outdoor patio. In December of 2014, Ale Asylum, in partnership with restaurateur Tim Thompson, opened the Ale Asylum Riverhouse in downtown Milwaukee, so now "inmates" (as the Ale Asylum team likes to call their fans) in Wisconsin's largest city and beer haven have an Asylum all their own. The brewery currently produces several core beers plus around two dozen rotating seasonals and limited-run beers. For more info, call 608-663-3926 or visit aleasylum.com.
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