Welcome to Thirsty Thursday, a weekly column where we pick a beer from our fridge and review it, because in a world where two new breweries launch every single week, sometimes we need some help sifting through all of the hops.
Some beers you stumble upon while strolling down the aisle of your beer shop, others you hear about either by word of mouth or because it’s managed to receive a little media attention. This week’s beer is a product of the latter – something I learned about online, from a local brewery I’ve visited, that I knew I wanted to try. Teaming up with Breweries In PA, a website I follow and often visit for local beer news, the folks at Stable 12 Brewing Company made an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia themed beer called Dayman, just in time for Season 14 of the FXX series.
Owned by Chris Carbutt and Richard Wolf, Stable 12 was the result of three beer-loving high school best friends adopting a new hobby after college – homebrewing. After their operation became too big for the kitchen, the men commandeered a barn at the family horse farm where Wolf grew up, which is how the company got its name. Now, Stable 12 calls Phoenixville, Pennsylvania – a suburb about 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia – home, with a quaint little spot and beer garden along the town’s main drag, which is a perfect stop for a Saturday adventure. Armed with 10 different beers at any given time, the brewery has a handful of year-round efforts it distributes throughout the area, typically with horse-themed names, as well as a solid rotation of limited releases, like Dayman.
Dayman is a 6.5 percent ABV New England Style IPA with Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops and the name is a reference to Season 4, Episode 13 of It’s Always Sunny, perhaps the show’s most notable episode to date, when Charlie Day’s character stages a rock opera called “Nightman.” Originally on tap at a popular Philadelphia watering hole, Stable 12 also canned a fair amount of 16-ounce pounder four-pack cans and this specific four-pack cost me just under $17, which is definitely a little less than other sought after limited releases based on popular culture. Speaking of cans, this one features a label that is definitely the drawing attraction with this brew.
Featuring Charlie Day’s character front-and-center in his classic yellow suit and white top hat and a blue and orange themed background, the can was drawn by local Philly artist Pat Henzy. Henzy has recently created can art for a number of breweries like Abomination Brewing Company and Conshohocken Brewing Company, among others, focusing on a very punk rock, science fiction and horror inspired look. The label doesn’t explain much of the details about the beer other than it’s specific category, which always bums me out a little, and features the Breweries from PA logo prominently on the side.
When I cracked open this can, I immediately noticed fruit scents such as mango and peach, along with a dank smell – a good sign when it comes to a New England IPA. The pour on Dayman was spectacular, with just the right amount of fluffy off-white head to compliment the hazy, straw-like color. The appearance alone indicated that his would be a tasty beer – and it was right.
The mouthfeel was medium-bodied and featured the kind of juiciness that makes me happy, it’s the reason I tend to gravitate towards beers that are categorized as hazy, or New England. The taste is an accurate representation of the smell, featuring notes of peach and mango, and there’s a dankness that is delicious, with just a little floral flavor and bitterness mixed in there. I like that there’s no real bitterness on the back-end but, rather, seemingly mixed in as an accent flavor. The drinkability is decent with this beer, though drinking just Dayman for a night might be excessive – but two of these cans would certainly be easy to consume.
A quick look at BeerAdvocate shows just one rating, for an average score of 4.02. My rating, which is based out of 10, would be just a little higher than that: 8.1. It’s a fun beer and it features many characteristics I look for in this particular style and, while some breweries over-complicate New Englands from time to time, Stable 12 brewed it simplistically delicious here. Hopefully there will be a Nightman – perhaps a chocolate stout – in the not too distant future.
Stay tuned for next week, because I might just try something from your favorite brewery.