Anheuser-Busch Demon’s Hop Yard IPA

Big brewer, big flavor
By MIKE MILIARD  |  August 30, 2006

I was skeptical. When A-B, the world’s third-largest brewery, announced their “You Choose It, We’ll Brew It” campaign, in which New England beer drinkers were afforded the opportunity to vote on a craft beer that would reflect the region’s tastes, I was wary. And when it was announced that the beer that won was going to be a potent hops-heavy India pale ale, I had doubts. I’ve tried other macrobrew stabs at microbrew quality before, and they were middling at best.

So I was thrilled to discover that Demon’s Hop Yard is different. The big guys have gotten right what’s made the little guys ever more popular over the past two decades or so: flavor.

Pouring a glowing copper color, with a thin and lacy white head, Demon’s Hop Yard smells faintly of citrus and grass — a good sign that its name is not misused. Indeed, if it’s a bit sweet and malty up front, it spreads out into a dry, hoppy efflorescence toward the end. It’s rich and flavorful, with a decent body, a potent kick (6.4 percent ABV) and a proper hoppiness (60 IBUs) that’s pleasant if not overwhelming.

In other words, it’s a good beer. Hey, big guys: welcome to the party.

Available for $4 to $5 per pint at Flann O’Brien’s, in Mission Hill; the Asgard, in Cambridge; the Joshua Tree, in Somerville; and the Boston Beer Garden, in South Boston, among others.

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