Beer of the Week: Red Tide Ryesing

Gravity Heights proves summer imbibing isn't exclusively about lawnmower beers

From the Beer Writer: Blame it on crispy-boi culture, the prominence (and marketing) of cold IPAs or the public’s affinity for lawnmowers, but summertime imbibing is getting awfully limited. These days, a trip to the cooler at nearly any outdoor event will turn up chilled-down 16-ounce cylinders of Mexican-style lagers, pilsners or any number of similarly straw-gold, low-alcohol refreshers. Don’t get me wrong, these styles rock and I adore a helles or Dortmunder export on a hot day. Popping the top on a crisp, clean Japanese-style rice lager over fun conversations with friends, count me in. But why are the majority of drinkers seemingly turning their backs on anything that’s not light or reminiscent of the adjunct-laced “beer” craft enthusiasts once vehemently criticized? Seasonal drinking makes sense, but anytime of year is a good time for a quality beer, regardless of style. Though you can’t always tell by the way beerophiles tend to drink, but one of craft-beer’s finest assets is the vast variety the medium presents. So kudos to breweries that dare to think outside the session-lager box, including Gravity Heights, the Sorrento Mesa brewpub behind this week’s featured beer, Red Tide Ryesing. A hop-forward IPA that not only sports a complex malt bill and flavors of caramel and spice, but is—gasp—also high-alcohol, it’s completely off-trend for summer or the current consumer climate. Or is it? The scores of regulars who enthusiastically lobbied for this bold yet highly quaffable cult-fave to make its return after a multi-year hiatus would certainly have something to say about that. It’s admirable that the team at Gravity Heights not only listened but responded and, as a rule, keeps its beer list delightfully varied, to which I say, “yeah, boi!”

From the Brewer: “The synergy that can exist between a grain bill and hop profile are on full display in this beer. The rye provides some really nice spiciness and an almost sticky mouthfeel while remaining dry and extremely drinkable. Underneath all that rye are some light caramel and toffee malt flavors that help contrast the bitterness and support the 8% ABV (alcohol-by-volume). As you sip, the Simcoe, Waimea and Mosaic hops begin to chime in by adding pleasant layers of pine, resin and fruity dankness that really bring the beer together. Big and bold is the best way to describe this beer. We haven’t brewed Red Tide Ryesing in over two years, but after much pestering from our regulars and staff we brought it back and have a fresh batch on tap. If you come by our restaurant, give it a try along with our duck liver banh mi. It’s a match made in heaven.”Tommy Kreamer, Head Brewer, Gravity Heights

Back to top button