what: Sacred Heart IPA
ABV: 7.2 percent
cost: $5 per 22-ounce bottle
Conquest Brewing Co., Columbia’s first production brewery, has been open for more than a year, but the craft brewery just began bottling its beers a few weeks ago — and that means this version of the Sacred Heart IPA is mega-fresh and ready to drink. Bottling doesn’t seem to have altered the character of this well-rounded India Pale Ale, except maybe to smooth out some of the carbonation inconsistencies with which Conquest’s keg beer occasionally seems to struggle. Sacred Heart offers a fresh, clean, piney hop flavor supported by light caramel malts; a lovely deep golden color; and a dry finish with balanced bitterness. A creed printed on the side of the label boasts not only “We Love Hops” but also “We Refuse Your Reality” and “We Live With Honor,” among other declarative statements. So, yeah.≈
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