Cheers!: An IPA with Pee-wee Herman and a DC-Style IPA with Belgian Soul

My daughter Clare and grandson Aiden came to visit from the Green Bay area recently so we could watch the new Pee-wee Herman movie together on Netflix.

Clare and I used to watch Pee-wee’s Playhouse on Saturday mornings way back in the late 1980s when she was still a little tyke and we lived on the island of Maui. She passed the Pee-wee gene on to her son. All three of us were excited to see the return of Pee-wee, but no one more than me.

And I once promised myself I would never fall victim to nostalgia.

In honor of Pee-wee, Clare brought with her a knot of rubber bands the size of a baseball, and in honor of her beer-soaked father she brought a bomber bottle of beer.

Legendary Pass from Badger State Brewing

Legendary Pass from Badger State Brewing

Passing the bottle to me and knowing my disdain for football, she told me to look past the name. It was an India Pale Ale from Badger State Brewing of Green Bay, with the name Legendary Pass.

I think by law if you brew in Green Bay at least one of your beers must reference football. Seems to me like pandering to the unwashed masses, but, hey, if sucking up to football or any other sort of sports fans helps a craft brewery sell beer, more power to them, especially if the beer is as good as this IPA.

But where is the brewery to pay homage to my old sport of fencing? Where is the Beat Bitter, the En Garde ESB, the French Grip Saison, the Lunge Lager, the Parry Pils and the Saber Stout?

But I digress.

The label says Legendary Pass is brewed with Cajun spices. Other than what I thought might be a faint hint of oregano, I didn’t really notice any Cajun spices, just a nicely balanced IPA with a solid malt backbone and a complex hop flavor thanks to the use of four hop varieties. As it warms, the hops intensify, but not enough to scare me away. This is a nice beer.

Thanks, Clare! Meka Leka Hi Meka Hiney Ho!


Sam Northrop turned me on to Door County Brewing’s latest offering, Sideshow, which is described on the label as a Door County-Style IPA.

If this is Door County-Style IPA, that means Door County-Style IPA is a Belgian Pale Ale because this tastes to me very much like a lovely BPA, which, to my mind, is one of the world’s great beers.

Yum! I love BPAs. So refreshing. So satisfying. So rich and full of deep, chewy flavor.

Speaking of flavor, I did not get the fruity profile mentioned on the label. Instead, I got a malty, bready, spicy flavor that put a smile on my face while satisfying my soul.

Who, I ask, could ask for more?

Congratulations Door County Brewing for this superstar beer.

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