Like many who pursue their dreams, Todd DiMatteo, owner and brewer of Good Word Brewing & Public House, doesn’t let sleep get in the way.
When he started taking brewing seriously, he would work during the daytime, then make beer at night.
Brewery: Good Word Brewing & Public House
Alcohol by volume: 7%
International Bitterness Units: 45
Style: Hazy American IPA
Bottom line: A delicious grapefruity IPA with a playful bite
“I didn’t sleep a lot, and I still don’t sleep a ton,” DiMatteo said. “I’m just really passionate about making beer.”
Good Word’s Never Sleep, the brewery’s first canned beer, is not only an ode to DiMatteo’s sleepless nights, but his homebrewing beginnings.
He first brewed the IPA on his back porch a couple of years ago, and since then has only slightly tweaked the recipe.
This hazy IPA was brewed with Vic Secret, Citra hops and a touch of Simcoe. DiMatteo said he dry-hopped it twice, once during mid-fermentation and the other closer to final fermentation. Dry hopping describes the process of adding hops after the wort has cooled.
“I feel like Never Sleep stands apart from a lot of hazy IPAs,” DiMatteo said. “It’s a little bit sharper, but also soft and tart. For me Never Sleep is like biting into a grapefruit with citrus characters coming through.”
I agree with DiMatteo on this one. Never Sleep has refreshing balance of bitter and citrus flavors that doesn’t overwhelm your tastebuds with a hoppy punch.
Don’t get me wrong, this beer bites, but in a playful way. I kept expecting the rush of unpleasant bitterness, but that never came with this one. DiMatteo masterfully embraces the bitter hops. It sort of tip-toes between the line of the sweet, juicy New England IPAs and the hop-jammed West Coast IPAs.
All in all, it’s a beautiful brew that I can’t wait to pair later with spicy Szechuan food.
It would be a disservice to Rachel Eleanor, the artist responsible for the can’s design, if I didn’t shine light on its whimsical look. DiMatteo said he gave her the direction he wanted to go, and her creative mind went wild.
The can depicts a man dressed in pajamas, most likely DiMatteo, falling through a nighttime, dream-like sky.
Never Sleep had its can release in the beginning of July, alongside Good Word’s pilsner, Die Todd Die. DiMatteo said people can expect more canned brews from Good Word, including Moose Traxxx!, an imperial milk stout, and Anna Fantastic, a tart cherry and tangerine sour.
Check out Good Word’s Facebook page for updates on the upcoming releases. Good Word is located at 3085 Main St. in Duluth.