Every other Wednesday, The Dip hosts a pub quiz with master MC, Luke. I failed to ask where his English style accent comes from exactly, but suffice it to say it was delightful to have him grill us on all things Redding. In case you arrive on an off Wednesday, there’s likely to be a bingo game going. This place is all about hanging out with a bit of the best from the lexicon of pubs. Special for beer week, they flooded the taps with brews from our beloved Wildcard and from Track 7 Brewing Co. of Sacramento, including one collaboration effort.
We gathered with white boards and markers, answering difficult questions like, “what is your team name?” as well as easier questions like, “what is this blurry blob on the screen behind me?” Most of the knowledge required was local, like “What year did Shasta Dam open?” It was fantastic, if a little stupefying for a transplant. Eventually, they sold half-priced tasting flights that included everything on tap from both Track 7 and Wildcard. This has been a beer week filled with collaborative efforts, and the Belgian IPA these two powerhouses dreamed up was fantastic. But it wasn’t just collaboration, this was PUB QUIZ! The bartender wouldn’t tell me which beer was which, but gave them a number, one through five, end to handle.
I didn’t understand until she said, twinkling, “It’s part of the trivia!” Nice. Which beer has the highest ABV? Which beer is the collaboration? Lucky for me, these were easy questions – the collab was a Belgian IPA, the only one sporting Belgian ale yeast. (You might know it by its funky little linger which often turns sweet, distinct from American ale yeast.) The Belgian was uniquely clear and pale, refreshing, with the yeast flavor providing a smart counterpoint to what the piney hops had to say. Similarly, there was only one Double IPA, so the extra 5% on top was easy to sniff out. If you haven’t had Wildcard’s Grapefruit IPA yet, drop what you’re doing (unless it’s holding a baby) and get out to the Dip or a tap room. This is pleasantly bitter in its Grapefruit character-a bit like the best part of having eaten one for breakfast. Behind that, complex hop character slides in on a subtle malt base.
Then the sleuthing got tougher: we could read the names of the beers on the chalkboard, but the stats were covered, so we couldn’t steal answers. I remembered previously looking at the two Track 7 IPAs (Panic and Mr. Chimpo) and noticed they were similar at 7% and 70 IBU. We discussed at length how to tell them apart. Each was varied in its hop aroma and subtleties of character, but without having had them prior, there wasn’t a defining factor to tell which was attached to each name. After much debate it became clear…the beers were in the same order as the chalkboard. Naturally, we took third place…the prize was an ironically awesome pint can of PBR. Never tasted so good.