Midnight Sun is a brewery I've been interested in for a while. First of all, they're the only brewery I know (besides Alaskan) that is based out of Alaska. They also have some fantastic names for their beers (ie. Panty Peeler Trippel, White Collar Crime Wit and Monk's Mistress Belgian Dark) which is always a good thing. While a good name doesn't necessarily make a good beer, knowing the brewer has a sense of humor never hurts. While being based out of Alaska might be cool, it's also their biggest obstacle. It's very rare to see any of their beers in California, especially bottled. I wanted to try a beer they make called T.R.E.A.T. but when I contacted the distributor, they said that the brewery doesn't ship to Southern California as of yet. I ended up having to buy the beer online from a store in Idaho but haven't tried it yet. More on that beer in the near future.
While bottles from Midnight Sun are near impossible to find, if you look around hard enough, you may stumble upon the occasional Midnight Sun beer on tap every once in a while. Yesterday, after attending the Carlsbad Street Fair, my girlfriend and I wandered into Pizza Port Carlsbad and I was surprised to see one of Midnight Sun's beers on tap- Mayhem. It was finally time for me to try my first Midnight Sun beer.
Mayhem pours a slightly cloudy golden/orange color with an off white, fluffy head that shows good retention. The aroma is huge with juicy notes of grapefruit jumping out right away. There's a bit of candied grapefruit as well along with some mild spiciness and a bit of barnyard funk.
The taste started off a little slow, with some floral hops leading the way. Then a huge citrus hop bite hit along with some white pepper that absolutely destroyed my taste buds. I loved every sip of it. The "Belgian" element comes in soon after the hop bite with some light Belgian yeast and malt smoothness that settles the hops down a bit. For me, there was just enough Belgian yeast flavor in the beer to justify the classification of the beer without going overboard on the yeast. This was definitely the best Belgian-style IPA I've ever had.
Final Grade: A
Top 100 Beers Tasted: 20
(Side note: Knuckle Sandwich recently left the ranks of the Top 100, but Bell's Two Hearted just returned to spot #100. For now, I'm still at 20.)