I like sneaky beer.
You know, the beer that seems like it should be one way, but then creeps up on you and completely obliterates your preconceived notions.
That’s how I felt about Cherry Street Brewing’s O.G.L., which stands for “One Giant Leap.”
The beer labels itself as a triple IPA and contains a whopping 10% alcohol by volume. Never trying this type of style, I hesitantly dove in and waited for a wave of bitterness and booziness.
That never came. Instead, I barely detected a sharp bite and instead experienced a rush of lovely clementine notes.
Nick Tanner, Cherry Street’s brewmaster, said O.G.L. is one of a three-part series of strong but smooth IPAs. He said they were inspired by the song “Stepping Razor” by Peter Toph, which includes lyrics about being dangerous.
“That’s the theme,” Tanner said. “They’re strong, but you don’t taste how strong they are. If you’re not careful, it’ll mess you up.”
Heed my warning, this beer is insidiously powerful. It’s easy drinking, so the alcohol content doesn’t make its grand appearance until after you finish a pint. I recommend eating a bit of food before you consume it, unless you have the blood of a Viking.
This is the sort of beer I’d recommend to my friends who turn their noses up at IPAs. It’s bold without being bitter and maintains a malty backbone that’s not overly sweet.
The notes of clementine come from the Galaxy hops used in the beer. Tanner describes this hop variety as having a citrusy and stone fruit character, and said it’s highly coveted among breweries.
“It’s grown in Australia, and it costs way more than most hops,” he said. “The import export creates this supply and demand. It’s limited and not easy to get. That’s what makes it more exciting.”
Also, who could resist a beer that pays homage to the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing? The name is a nod to Neil Armstrong’s famous quote, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The can’s art displays the image of a lion in an astronaut suit. Honestly, this is probably one of my favorites can designs, and I plan to keep one to place on my fancy beer shelf.
If you’re interested in picking up a pack of O.G.L., swing by Downtown Drafts, located at 115 Bradford St. in Gainesville. For more information about Cherry Street’s upcoming beer, visit cherrystreetbrewing.com.
O.G.L. (One Giant Leap)
Brewery: Cherry Street Brewing
Alcohol by volume: 10%
Style: Triple IPA
Bottom line: The smoothest 10% beer I’ve ever tried