St. John Brewers | VI Massive Series Double IPA
Weddings are usually a fun-filled weekend followed by a week-long hangover. Family weddings, on the other hand, are a whole different animal, especially when the man your sister is marrying decides he is going to brew the beer for it. Pretty challenging in and of itself, but then throw in the extra challenge of bottling and labeling, and you begin to get a scope of this endeavor. Now here comes the whammy: Eight styles. Eight different brews dispersed into 650 bottles and voila, you may kiss the bride. That said, it is safe to say that beer has a warm place in the hearts of most my family- 10 siblings/spouses and counting!
It took a solid week of massive water intake and a few Philly Cheesesteaks to get the train back on track (optimum liver function is still questionable) but it coincided perfectly with the return of the new husband and wife who came bearing gifts. Having spent their honeymoon in the US Virgin Islands at St. Johns, my brother-in-law commented that after a while the beer would run together flavor wise. With Sierra Nevada Pale Ale loosing its luster as the go-to beverage for the weekend, it was time to find greener pastures, which brings me to today’s showcase.
St. John Brewers, the local favorite, started with modest beginnings- a $50 brew kit to tinker with after their closings shifts at the bar. A couple months later, they were hand delivering their flagship and most popular, Tropical Mango Pale Ale across the island. After getting established and creating a strong brand, they put together their special brewed VI (Virgin Island) Massive Series- a collection of one-off brews (served in 22 oz bombers, FYI) that will create yet another reason to bring you to the Virgin Islands since they are only available to the local public.
While straying from the normal lager style of the Caribbean, the VI Massive Double IPA carries a much higher sweetness factor than bitterness. The head was slight, the color a medium amber, and the malt more evident through the nose than on the taste buds. As far as DIPAs go, it is very balanced and manageable on your palate, not ruining it for other beers. The sweet hoppinesss lends itself to a crisp and clear finish. This would be a very deceiving beer to have on hand all day at the beach, since it weighs in at 8.8 ABV and 80 IBUs, but without the expected after burn. I chalk it up to the island spices, which make the flavor nostalgic of Caribbean Jerk BBQ. Unfortunately, if you are not travelling to the islands, this is beer is unavailable practically everywhere—except Portland, ME. They have had a long standing partnership with Shipyard Brewing Company since the inception.