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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 90 Drink: Ithaca CascaZilla

Ithaca is a college town in Upstate New York that has more than a touch of counter-establishment vibe. Whether voting for Ralph Nader for president or starting up a local currency called “Ithaca Hours,” the community marches to its own drummer. The mood fits perfectly with the idea of supporting locally produced products, especially beer.

The label says the 6.5 percent alcohol by volume Ithaca CascaZilla is a “Monstrously Hoppy Red Ale” and the description is spot on. CascaZilla was first brewed in 2004 as a Fall season beer and was Ithaca Beer Co.’s first hop forward beer. The brand is a contraction of the name of Cascadilla Creek and Gorge, which flows through the city of Ithaca and the campus of Cornell University, and Cascade hops, one hop variety used in during the brewing and during fermentation for dry hopping.

CascaZilla opens with an immediate intense floral hop aroma, rich thick head and a glowing tarnished penny color. Spicy, herbal hop flavors abound throughout this well-built brew. The beer finishes with a Scotch pine note and a hint of dryness.

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