Angry Hank’s- Street Fight Imperial Red
Can there be such a thing as “The Official Beer of Billings”? Well if there was such a title, I think the Street Fight Imperial Irish Red would definitely be in the running. I have been to countless restaurants in the area and I will ask the proverbial question, “What locally made beers do you have on tap?”. The answers vary from “None”, or “One or two, but not sure which ones…”. But if an establishment only has one local beer, I would almost bet its this beer. It comes in at 6.5% ABV, and certainly contains more alcohol than a traditional Irish Red Ale, however, I have always been sceptical of their “Imperial” moniker. But I suppose creative licence is in order here. This flagship ale has supported Hank’s through the years and even through their expansion to two locations just blocks from each other. (Of which I was told last night, the old Hank’s location will be operational again due to contruction early next week.) So lets dive into a glass and answer the tough questions, like HOW DOES IT TASTE????
Appearance- As red as red should be. Brilliantly clear, little to no head was evident upon the pour. Moderate carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass.
Aroma- Somewhat muted on the nose, but what I could make out was some roasted barley (used in small amounts to give the classic redness to the Irish Red), and I got some alcohol notes on the nose which certainly was unexpected. No hop aroma to speak of, and defiantly sweet caramel malt aroma.
Taste- Fairly light bodied beer as it was thinned out by the alcoholic astringency that I got on the nose. Malt forward for sure, but there was a fair amount of hop bitterness to balance the beer. Caramel malts dominate, but it is generally a very easy drinking beer for how much alcohol is on board.
Overall- Its a solid beer through and through. Certainly one of my favorite beers to get a growler filled and take to parties. A great “gateway” beer to craft beer novices. Could this be “The Official Beer of Billings”? Well everyone is entitled to their opinion on that question, but what I can tell you is that this beer has been drank by thousands of people- locals and non-locals alike, and it has kept both Hank’s locations full for years. If you haven’t had this brew, do yourself a favor and grab a pint or two.
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