Venturing into Uptown is a risky proposition for someone approaching 30, particularly as a reminder of how far you are from 22. On the other hand, several Uptown bars have large, excellent beer selections, including The Social House, which loves to remind you that they have 100 beers on tap. And, much to my delight, on tap this week was Ft. Worth’s Martin House’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA.
The current version of Cellarman’s poured a shade of amber lighter than typical for IPA. The first thing that stood out was the bitterness, which was slight enough to come through without being overwhelming. With a very light pine flavor and present bitterness, it’s a well-balanced IPA with a medium body that any beer snob can appreciate.
Cellarman's Reserve became a year-round beer last fall, but what makes it an interesting brew is that Martin House’s only use one type of hops each time they make it. However, what type of hops they use varies from season to season. While it shouldn’t vary too much in taste, you can pretend to be the biggest beer snob of your friends by commenting how it’s different from the last time you had it. Currently, the beer is being brewed with Chinook hops, which account for the pine hints in the flavor. Previously, it was brewed with Cascade hops, which are popular in American Pale Ales, and Amarillo hops, which have a bitter, citrusy flavor.
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If you want to drink a local IPA that changes with season, Martin House’s Cellarman’s Reserve is an excellent choice that should allow you to experience a variety of hop variations. If venturing into Uptown isn't for you, look for Cellarman’s in your chosen watering hole or in a can, too.