City to Shore
BikeMS: City to Shore is inherently exciting. Thousands of bike riders make the trek from Cherry Hill, riding on a wave of enthusiasm and goodwill, entering Ocean City to meet the cheering throngs awaiting their arrival.
The least we could do is get them a beer.
And this time around they’ll be able to stash 4-packs of 16-ounce cans along the way.
“Chris originally came up with this recipe as a way to play around with some of the sexier hops that we were finally able to get ahold of after being open for a couple of years,” explains Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm.
At the time, we only had Cascade, Centennial, and Saaz under contract, but every so often we’d get some Zythos in to brew up Cape May Pale Ale.
Luckily, the craft beer community is a tight-knit one, happily sharing ingredients along the way.
“Gene from Flying Fish reached out to see if we’d be interested in any of their extra hops,”says Head Brewer Brian Hink, “so we took some Simcoe, Citra, and Amarillo off their hands and brewed up our first true DIPA: City to Shore.”
The year after that, we couldn’t get those hops again, so we needed to switch up the recipe.
“Even though that year’s batch was very well received,” Brian recalls, “there was a very vocal crowd who wanted the original back, so for the third year in 2015 we went back to the original recipe.”
Like most of our beers, the version you get today is the result of years of tweaking and refining.
“We shuffled the hop additions to better utilize the aroma of the hops and tone down the bitterness, upped the dry hops a little here and a little there,” Brian says, “but for the most part the beer has stayed true to what it was, just better.”
Since then, City to Shore is commonly cited as one of our fans’ favorite brews, and we don’t blame them. It’s dry, bitter, and punches with a touch of dank reminiscent of old-school IPAs. It has the assertive bitterness that West Coast IPAs have, but it has a softer mouthfeel and tropical aroma to it that’s a bit more new school.
“Yet the hop profile is very citrusy and tropical like many modern IPAs,” Jimmy says, “but without the sickly sweet feeling they have due to the residual body and low bitterness.”
Brian is a big fan of the balance of City to Shore.
“It’s not bone dry with a sharp bitterness that most West Coast IPAs have,” he says, “and this came out well before any of the New England IPAs were coming out, so it has a really unique overall flavor to it. It’s kind of like a Venn diagram of East Coast, West Coast, and New England IPAs.”
City to Shore is actually the first beer that really came to the attention of many of our fans. In fact, our very own Sales Manager, Richie Rallo, points to City to Shore as the reason he started paying attention to us, lo those many years ago, while he was working at Goodnight Irene’s.
“The body doesn’t get in the way of the hops but it’s there just enough,” Brian says. “The bitterness is apparent but doesn’t come close to being astringent. The flavor and aroma is intense but doesn’t overpower you. At 7.8% it’s enough to justify having a couple and calling it a night, but having one at the bar isn’t going to get you in trouble.”
Luckily, this time around, you can sit at home and have a pint or two. City to Shore is our first 16-ounce can release, and it’s completely worthy of it.
“12oz of this beer ain’t enough!!” Jimmy enthuses.
And, let’s face it, after riding a bike for 100 miles, you’ve probably worked up a thirst. Since beer is relatively high in the B-vitamins and electrolytes that you typically lose after a workout, City to Shore is a great choice after the ride. Furthermore, it’s not packed to the gills with a crapload of sugar that’s going to make you crash later.
Well… the 7.8% ABV may handle that, anyway.
“After a hundred-mile ride, I want three things in this order: ice cream, pizza, and 3-6 beers,” Brian says, “and then it’s pass-out time because I’m exhausted. City to Shore is perfect because in 4-pack tall boys at 7.8% I’ll probably have two or three beers and be more tired than drunk.”
Sounds like a winning combination to us!
City to Shore is available on tap now in the Tasting Room, and will be available in 16-ounce four-packs at better liquor stores throughout the area. Get some soon!