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Booze Blog: Until Hangar 24 sells Double IPA again, Essence fills the void nicely

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While Hangar 24’s Double IPA isn’t currently on local shelves, try settling for something similar: Essence, a Hangar double IPA made with navel and blood oranges and grapefruit.

California-based brewery Hangar 24 has quickly vaulted to the top ranks of Beers That Will Always Be In My Fridge. Since the brewery’s introduction in Nevada in April, I’ve had the pleasure of tasting most of Hangar 24’s products, including Alt-Bier Ale, Orange Wheat, Chocolate Porter, Amarillo Pale Ale, Columbus IPA and Immelman Barrel Roll #1. But it was Hangar’s Double IPA that really turned my head. It’s head and shoulders their finest product.

Unfortunately, I was recently notified by Robert Bledsoe, director of marketing at Hangar 24, that since his company could not meet the demand in Nevada for the Double IPA, they had to temporarily stop shipping it. My heart sunk a little upon hearing that news.

Luckily, there’s another Hangar 24 product to fill that void. It’s called Essence, and it’s part of the company’s “Local Fields” series, in which they use the best fruits from the farms of California to produce a unique product each season.

Essence, the third in the “Local Fields” series, is a double IPA, but with the added flavors of navel and blood oranges, as well as grapefruit. It’s available at most liquor stores in Southern Nevada in a 22-ounce bottle like its Double IPA counterpart. It clocks in at 8.5 percent ABV, slightly less than the 9 percent ABV of Double IPA.

So, how do the two stack up side by side? Let’s just say I’m not so unhappy about having to wait for that next bottle of Double IPA anymore. I was a bit worried that all that fruit would cramp the style of the Double IPA’s bitter hoppiness, but I’m elated to report that it only enhances it. You can definitely taste the difference between the two products, but there’s a crisp, fresh taste here that makes it an excellent accompaniment to any evening as the summer temperatures come to a close.

If you’re a beer fan of any stripe, you should be very excited about having Hangar 24 in town. They’re adventurous types who provide a wide spectrum of great products, but they’re also constantly pushing boundaries. And as Essence proves, pushing boundaries is a good thing.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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