Clipper City Brewing Company - Loose Cannon
- ABV: 7.25%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 45
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Pale, Munich, Caramalt
- Hops: Cascade, Warrior, Simcoe, Palisade, Citra, Amarillo
Heavy Seas’ flagship beer pours a lightly hazy golden-copper color with plenty of sticky foam that drops nice lacing as you empty your glass. Whereas Powder Monkey, our other Heavy Seas feature this month, is an English-style pale ale and offers a similar appearance, one whiff of Loose Cannon unabashedly declares itself an American IPA. Look for big citrus notes which lean toward tangerine and grapefruit, accompanied by piney-herbal notes and a big overall resinous quality. The six different hop varieties come through with a big, expressive, juicy fruit character on the palate. While pithy citrus is the star here, joined by a perfumed floral element, the caramel malt still offers a sturdy core. At 45 IBUs, hop bitterness is firm but not crazy for the style, making this a great example of how a very, very hoppy IPA does not necessarily equate to crushing bitterness. This is due to Heavy Seas’ addition of hops after the boil via a hopback and dry-hopping in the fermenter, allowing the infusion of hop flavor without much additional bitterness (the vast majority of which can only be introduced into the beer via boiling). The brewery recommends pairing Loose Cannon with pork in applesauce, buffalo wings, and carrot cake. Cheers!
The history of the Clipper City Brewing Company goes back to the mid-1980s when Hugh Sisson, proprietor of Sisson's, a local restaurant and bar, first recognized the potential for a small brewery in Baltimore. Upon attempting to get a license to brew beer at his restaurant, he quickly discovered that legislation prevented brewpubs in Maryland. So he began working with Senator George Della, Jr. to successfully lobby the Maryland General Assembly to pass new legislation. In 1989, Hugh began brewing at Sisson's, Maryland's first brewpub.
The move helped usher in the wave of craft brewing in Baltimore, and Hugh engrossed himself in the development and market recognition of both Sisson's brewpub and its beers, while simultaneously serving as this pioneering facility's first Brewmaster. After five years of brewpub brewing, Hugh went through another round of legal wrangling in order to expand into a full-scale microbrewery. In early 1996, Clipper City Brewing, borrowing a Baltimore sobriquet as its name, officially began brewing on the scale Hugh was going for. In 2010 the brewery placed all of its beers under the Heavy Seas name, a brand they began in 2003. In addition to their bottled beers, Clipper City is also one of the largest, if not the largest, producer of British-style cask-conditioned beer in the U.S. For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (410) 247-7822 or check out their web site at www.hsbeer.com.
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