Booneshine Brewing Co. | Space Pegasus NE Style IPA
Located in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina, Booneshine Brewing Co. calls the town of Boone its home. And, like many of the residents of Boone, they are explorers and adventurers, and their beers reflects that—both in name and ingredients.
Their Space Pegasus—a New England-style IPA—is also aptly named after exploring, as it will take you on an “intergalactic adventure”.
Co-owner Tim Herdklotz was nice enough to talk to me about Booneshine Brewing and Space Pegasus.
Booneshine began brewing back in 2015 but quickly outgrew their original location. In 2018, they moved their brewing operations to a new 10 BBL brewhouse on the east side of the town and then, shortly after that in 2019, they opened up a tasting room and restaurant at the same location. On weekends, they also have a food truck on premise to provide even more options when drinking there.
Last year they were actually able to sell more beer than in 2019 (over 2000 barrels), and they are now in the top 30 breweries in North Carolina, by sales. Despite that, they are keeping their distribution range small—just the Tar Heel State—and are taking expansion slow.
They want to make sure their beer remains of the highest quality and are looking to carve out a niche market rather than over-saturate themselves and sacrifice taste.
Space Pegasus, which was first released in 2018, was Booneshine’s first hazy IPA. They were intentionally late to the “haze craze” as, once again, they wanted the quality of their beers to stand out more than anything else.
However, this is now a near staple beer of theirs and is produced between eight and ten months out of the year. The ridiculous amounts of hops added to the brew meant that it needed an equally ridiculous name to capture that. And, after one of their concept artwork pieces featured a horse puking a rainbow, they knew they had their name and label.
The brew features a light grist base of flaked and white wheat, flaked oats and pale malt with a semi-rotating combination of hops that give it a super juicy flavors. Since 2020 began, the hop profile has stayed more consistent and features Amarillo, Azacca, Citra and Simcoe hops.
It poured a murky dark orange color with just about a finger of eggshell white head topping it off. The foam quickly dispersed into a thin ring around the glass and left some solid lacing down the sides.
The aroma is soft, sweet and packed with tropical fruits with a hint of hoppy dankness. Pineapple, grapefruit and orange were the most prevalent on the nose, but the malt backing added some sweeter notes from the flaked wheat.
Each sip starts with a very soft, pillowy mouthfeel with almost no carbonation fizzle. The flavors slowly begin to appear, crawling out from the thicker body. It begins with heaps of orange and grapefruit. The pineapple that was so noticeable in the scent was nowhere to be found in the taste and, instead, it was the citrus fruits that were allowed to run free.
Initially it was all juicy fruit flavors but, about midway through, the hops added a hint of bitterness that sat down at the back of the tongue and remained there for a few moments. Joining that was a slightly pithy grapefruit peel flavor that broke up the otherwise juicy notes of the beer.
On the back end of Space Pegasus, the flaked oats and wheat made a cameo appearance. They added a small cereal-like characteristic that blended well with the remaining fruit flavors. But it only lasted a few seconds before everything began to fade away. The brew ends rather cleanly, with just a hint of dryness and a somewhat grainy feeling; neither of which lasted long at all.
Overall, Space Pegasus was an incredibly tasty, easy drinking New England IPA. A lot of breweries say they don’t want to sacrifice quality, but here you can taste that Booneshine absolutely means it. The 6.3% ABV was hidden entirely and, at $4 for a 16-ounce can, the price was certainly right.
If you’re in North Carolina, you can’t go wrong with grabbing a pint (or four) of this juicy, crushable IPA while it’s still around!
Images courtesy of Booneshine Brewing’s Facebook page.