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HEADSTOCK IPA – NICKEL BROOK BREWING CO.

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It’s Friday night.

The Celtics are playing the Raptors.

The Raptors are struggling; they’re down by seven at the half.

I pop a top on a Headstock IPA.

The Raptors catch fire and dominate the third quarter 33-18.

Coincidence?

Of course.

But it’s a coincidence made me feel even warmer and fuzzier about this excellent beer than I did already.

Headstock, by Nickel Brook, is one of the most enjoyable beers I’ve tasted. I love how it combines superb taste and reasonable potency – a pronounced tingly citrus flavour, and a light-heavyweight reading of 7.0 per cent alcohol. One of these, and you’re relaxed without feeling full.

On the label, Nickel Brook list the four hops that account for the distinct citrus taste: Simcoe, Amarillo, Equinox and Mosaic. “We especially adore the science of hops…we conclude that hop science is one tasty passion,” it says. “No additives. No Preservatives. Just Science.” Bravo to the brewers for promoting beer science; it’s especially refreshing in an era where fact and proof is quickly, shallowly and nefariously dismissed as corporatism.

Headstock’s funky label features a logo meant to resemble the headstock of a Gibson Les Paul, one of rock’s finest guitars (think Jimmy Page, Gary Moore, Slash, Duane Allman, etc.). It’s very classy and very enticing to guitar-playing beer drinkers who appreciate quality. The promise of quality inside comes through in spades.

I won’t wait until spring to pop another Headstock. But I’m already declaring it my official beer of the NBA playoffs.

Here’s what the brewery says:

“The flowering humulus lupulus top-cone provides us with the vital acids, essential oils and resins that permeate throughout our IPA. The result is a deliciously obscene wallop of tropical fruit, citrus and pine hop flavours.”