Got Beer? Ragged Island Beach Night IPA

It seems like it took forever, but I finally got my hands on some Ragged Island brew. Ragged Island is one of the newer breweries on the block in little Rhody. The Portsmouth-based beer-makers have eluded me thus far, since their beer proved somewhat difficult to find without going to the actual brewery, and I haven’t had a car for more than a month. These kinds of setbacks vex me, but I persevere.

Finally, this very attractive four-pack of cans called Beach Night IPA landed somewhere close by, and I was able to snag it for the low price of … $16?! Wowsers! This better be the best IPA I’ve tasted in a long, long time.

… You got lucky.

The aroma wafts some interesting grapefruit and floral notes past my nose, reminiscent of Loose Cannon, but with a juicier, sweeter flavor. For all its sweetness, it has a pleasantly airy sort of body and mouthfeel, but not so much so that it’s off-balance. It’s slightly cloudy with some sediment, but if that kind of thing bothers you, then you’re not likely to drop that much money on a four-pack of locally made brew in the first place.

The hop profile is a gorgeous mix of citrus and floral, bringing to mind kiwi and papaya. Every IPA has its own fingerprint, and this one definitely stands out from the rest. You’d never confuse this beer with any other IPA out there.

In general, I’m eager to return to a more malty trend in beer, but this brew really showcases what hops can do when used correctly to enhance a beer’s flavors. Even the name is perfect, as it brings to mind some warm, breezy nights by the sea, sipping fruity rum drinks and getting up to sandy shenanigans.

The can’s artwork does, too. And I don’t think the term “artwork” has ever been more properly applied. Besides the logo and the fun fonts of the name, there’s an artistic depiction of a woman in a bikini, removing her sarong by moonlight. It looks painted, as in, by an actual artist. It certainly looks like it belongs framed on a wall somewhere. Even the lighting has an odd quality to it, as if the red sarong is really some splash of fiery lava contrasted with the cold blue moonlight.

Apparently this is the companion beer to their Beach Day IPA, which is a session IPA, and different from this 6.5% powerhouse. I wonder if I should have tried Beach Day first, but if I’m being perfectly honest, I think the Beach Night is much more appropriate to my aesthetic senses.

Maybe I’ll compare them someday, but for right now, it’s a warm, muggy night in the Ocean State, the kid’s asleep, and I’m going to enjoy one of the best IPAs I’ve had in a long, long time.

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