This Happy Hour Friday is brought to you by Beer.  No fancy ingredients to track down, no complicated muddling or straining, all you have to do is buy it.

I must admit, beer is not usually my first drink of choice, but every once in a while I crave a nice, cold beer — a craving that will not go away until satisfied.  And when that time comes, you better believe I will not be drinking anything that has “light” in the name.  No, no, no, if I am going to do it it must have a great flavor and decent body to it.  I want to feel bad about the calories consumed, and then not feel bad about it, all at the same time.  I introduce to you my favorite “all-occasion” beer – Two Hearted Ale by Bell’s Brewery.

two heartedBell’s describes Two Hearted Ale, with an alcohol-by-volume of 7 percent, as having an “intense hop aroma and malt balance. Hopped exclusively with the Centennial hop varietal from the Pacific Northwest, massive additions in the kettle and again in the fermenter lend their characteristic grapefruit and pine resin aromas. A significant malt body balances this hop presence; together with the signature fruity aromas of Bell’s house yeast, this leads to a remarkably drinkable American-style India Pale Ale.”

It is one of the best IPA’s I have ever had.  But, you do not have to take my word for it, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale topped’s list of 15 best India Pale Ales and Black IPAs.  As in, it was #1.

You will definitely pick up on the citrus notes, and the floral aroma.  It has a light carbonation, and pours a nice golden color.  A pint glass works, you can use a snifter too, if you want to pretend you are really cool.  The thing I like the most about Two Hearted Ale is that it doesn’t have the bitter bite like other IPA’s, it is really smooth.  I have introduced many friends to this beer, those who claim that they cannot handle IPA’s, and they end up liking it.  So when heading out to a BYOB backyard BBQ, this is what I bring.

I have to mention, it pairs amazingly well the House of Wine burger.  You know, the one topped with red wine braised onions, melty swiss cheese, and roasted garlic aioli.  It’s delicious, which is great, because while you are there you can pick up a cold six pack of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale from their craft beer coolers!  Enjoy!