Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world.

– Kaiser Wilhelm

This week, I’m breaking into the boys’ club that is the world of craft beer. I am that beer snob bringing my own local brews to your house party—guilty as charged.  Make no mistake, I have downed my fair share of PBRs and have been known to sink a cup or two in beer pong, but I’d pick six-packs over 30-racks any day of the week.  When you match the right beer with the perfect circumstances, there is a synergy that is hard to beat. Not to mention it gets you drunk, and that’s when the fun starts.

Whether you are a brewster, a cenosillicaphoic (def: one with a fear of an empty glass), or just a girl trying to make that perfect keg stand, you are not alone. Both Egyptian and Sumerian cultures have goddesses of beer.  While I haven’t seen any shrines to us go up lately, we are amidst the craft beer movement, witnessing the largest presence of women in beer and brewing culture since the transition to male-dominance with the Industrial Revolution.  I call together my beer-loving ladies—not for equality or feminism—but for the love of beer!

Today, I explore a fantastic brew from Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado—the DuganA, a limited release American double/imperial IPA. The name Imperial IPA comes from a style of strong state brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court of the late 1700s.

Take an India Pale Ale and feed it steroids—congratulations on your new Double IPA.  IPA’s are not for the faint of hops!  They are robust, bitter, and have bested more than one strong palate.

However, if you like hops-on-hops, listen up.  I present DuganA: this DIPA is released annually in Septembe and is known as Maharaja’s badass little sister.  (Maharaja is Avery’s signature well-loved imperial ale).  How could I resist? Well I didn’t try—us badass little sibs need to stick together! Avery describes this pour as a “unity of bitterness, hop flavor, and aroma.”

The bottle reads, “Lupulin, Rapture, Incarnate!” Translation: brace yourself. At first pour, DuganA is beautiful golden amber, with minimal clarity (typical hop haze) and a sizeable two-finger head of delicate off-white.  Noticeable sediment hints at the immensity that is to come.

The obligatory beer snob waft reveals sweet citrus tones, pine needles and endless hops—the classic Avery IPA—with hints of grapefruit and a little bit of nature.  Taste brings a tangy citric hop profile, zesty herbal character, and resin-y dankness that meets the sweet malt for a perfectly balanced finish.  The low carbonation lets the powerful complex flavors shine through, a fleeting sweetness in the front morphing into rolling resin-y bitterness.

DuganA boasts an 8.5 percent ABV and IBU 93, and is easily the most drinkable of its equally qualified peers.  I highly recommend this beer to all hop-lovers!

From time to time, I am asked: “Why beer?” I am tempted to blame this passion on my black lab Guinness, who shared his endless wisdom for my first 14 years, but I will resist and try to define why I believe in beer.

For some reason, beer is different. Beer welds—it facilitates connections and experiences.
Beer symbolizes important moments, culminating in a cheers to great friends or new families.  A simple beer in a glass connects a culture regardless of the categorical distinctions of society, accessible to anyone with a few dollars and an appetite for something new.

Regardless, beer refuses to take itself too seriously, and ensures that neither do we.  In the words of Odell, “Hey, we could all use a little levity every once in a while.” Now go forth, and leave no beer untapped.


Maggie O’Leary

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