A without delay review of a #WithoutDelayIPA: Short’s Psychedelic Cat Grass
“Bottled, packaged and consumed in less than 24 hours,” is the credo of Short’s annual Psychedelic Cat Grass release. The triple dry hopped American IPA was bottled overnight, sent out for distribution ASAP and meant to be drank in the same vein.
Check, check and check.
The two bottles of Short’s Psychedelic Cat Grass I stumbled onto Wednesday afternoon were bottled a mere nine hours ago, at 4:14:52 a.m. to be exact. And these two bottles went through quite the journey to get here.
Bottled while most of us were sleeping, Psychedelic Cat Grass was quickly loaded on to Imperial Beverage trucks for statewide distribution throughout Michigan. Beer stamped for mid-Michigan and West Michigan was then hauled down to the distributor’s Kalamazoo HQ and split among its fleet of trucks to head out to retailers. The same scenario played out throughout the state at Imperial’s other distribution hubs.
Assuming this retailer posted shortly after the beer arrived, it took a little over eight hours from bottling line to store shelf — pretty damn efficient if you ask me. And this is happening all over the Midwest with Short’s other distribution partners in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
The logistics, drive-time and the backstory is only part of what makes Psychedelic Cat Grass unique. The beer itself is pretty delicious too.
Taproom Freshness, Bottled
Giving off a nose full of mango, papaya, pineapple, lemon zest and a hint of freshly cracked black pepper, this triple dry hopped American IPA is dangerously smooth and a bit viscous. Waves of passion fruit crash onto the palate with a lengthy tail bringing flavors of fresh cut pineapple, grapefruit peel and mango. The finish is sharp and a bit piney.
One can argue that most IPAs should be drank within 6 months of bottling, probably sooner. Sampling this hours after it’s bottled really allows the freshness to shine, particularly a beer with such a pronounced hoppiness.
Much has been made about the on-premise revolution, and rightfully so. It’s hard to find a fresher pour and a great way to support your local brewer. But Short’s has found a unique way to bottle that freshness and work with its distributors to ensure beer lovers can get their hands on it as soon as humanly possible.
Logistically, its a seismic lift for both brewer and distributor, but to taste this beer within hours of it being bottled lends a new appreciation for the lengths both will go to in the name of freshness.
Note: As part of my day-to-day role I do work with some of Michigan’s beer distributors — however, this beer was purchased off the shelf as usual and we present this as part of our long and storied career covering Short’s Brewing.