Last night we reported live from the Beveridge Place Pub as they celebrated their second anniversary (in the new digs) with the help of Georgetown Brewing, which was there for a brewers night event. This was also a release party for the freshly hatched Georgetown Lucille IPA.
It’s just another step towards the IPA Armageddon and our inevitable descent into sweet, hoppy oblivion. Manny’s Pale Ale is omnipresent on the local beer scene, Roger’s Pilsner continues to gain momentum, and craft beer aficionados eagerly await the release of Bob’s Brown Ale every year, but until yesterday Georgetown Brewing had not yet delivered an IPA. With the release of Lucille IPA, they have now officially entered the IBU arms race.
By most accounts, the recipe can be attributed to Manny himself. Although he tried to credit his crew of brewers, one of them (Reid Spencer) was quick to say, “It was all Manny, he’s just modest.”
So how does Lucille stack up against other local IPAs? I am guessing she will stand up very well to the scrutiny of the IBU-crazed, beer-consuming public. This beer is plenty hoppy, to be sure.
He had me at Amarillo
Manny told me about the hop profile. “We do seven rounds of hopping, using three different varieties of hops.” He was very specific about the order and the timing of each round, “Amarillo, Centennial, Amarillo, Amarillo… no wait. Centennial then Amarillo, Amarillo…”
He had me at “Amarillo.”
All I really remember is that the recipe uses Centennial, Amarillo, and Cascade hops, added to the boil at various points along the way. To play against the spicy fruitiness of the Amarillo hops, they used the piney attributes of the Cascade hops for finishing. It worked very well. The beer is very hop-forward and floral, with the bitterness lingering in a very palatable way.
In a previous life, I was an avid home brewer. This beer reminded me of something I learned a long time ago about my particular palate: simple though it may sound, finishing a beer with Cascade hops is a home run every time. I’m a simple man.
There is something about this IPA that will take a second or two for your palate to recognize. It’s balanced. Many of the IPAs I sample these days tend to lean one of two ways: sweet and boozy or over-hopped and bitter. I personally do not mind a beer that is out of balance as long as the scale tips toward the hoppy side, but I get really excited when I taste an IPA that is balanced. Seems to be a rare breed these days. Lucille gets me excited.
Anything built like that just gotta be named Lucille
Down in Georgetown, there is a street named Lucile (spelled with a single L), but that’s not where Georgetown Brewing came up with the name. Lucille is a nickname given to a brewing tool — a tool that very much resembles a regular garden hoe. The Georgetown brew crew ran into some resistance when they wanted to name the new IPA The Georgetown Hoe, so they opted for Lucille instead.
But why do they call the hoe Lucille? Fans of the movie Cool Hand Luke will remember the sexy girl washing the car and putting on a show for the chain-gang as they worked along the roadside. George Kennedy’s character, Dragline, nicknamed her Lucille.
Later that night, as Dragline fantasizes about her, he repeats her name over and over again. Similarly, as they stir the grain, the brewers say, “Oh Lucille, oh my sweet Lucille.”
In the movie, when Luke asks why he nicknamed the girl Lucille, Dragline says, “Anything so innocent and built like that just gotta be named Lucille.”
If you know the movie, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should. You should also try some of the Lucille IPA at your first opportunity.
Georgetown is making the Lucille IPA on their smaller system, so don’t expect it to flood the market. Keep an eye out for it. We promise that we will share any information we have regarding Lucille’s availability.