Tonight’s reviews – there are two – come from a small beverage center (a “bevy” as my brother calls it) on Long Island, which has tons of beer that the beer babe has never seen – I vowed to return before leaving and score a few additional samples of some great beer…

The first, “Purple Haze.” Don’t worry, it doesn’t contain any extra ingredients which make it extra psychedelic. This was made by the Abita Beer company from Louisiana. The Purple Haze is a whet beer with raspberries – the label says they are added after filtration, and they come through very subtly. The beer looks cloudy and unfiltered, and is a light wheat. Not very much sweetness in it is coming from the wheat, it seems to be nicely coming through the raspberries. I like this one because it isn’t so sweet as to be relegated to being a dessert beer. I would love to make this to compliment my pork chops with raspberry horseradish sauce recipe – with a garnish of star fruit. Yummy, light, and very nice.

On the stronger end of the spectrum is the Great Divide Brewing Company’s “Hercules Double IPA.” I’ve been a fan of strong IPAs since I was introduced to them a long time ago – and I love finding ones with great hop character that’s balanced instead of knocking me back into my chair. This one is a respectable 9.1% ABV, and has a beautiful taste of hops. It makes a great head, smells wonderful, and is strongly flavored. I would say its stronger than the Longhammer from Red Hook, but less bitingly hoppy than the 60 & 90 Minute IPAs from Dogfish Head. Still strong enough to be a sipper, though! I’d love to try more from this brewery.

I’m currently on Long Island, visiting some relatives through new years. I admit my neglect on reviewing brews through the holidays, but I have received many great interesting things as gifts to try, so I promise I’ll get to them as soon as I open them!!