Left Field Brewing, founded by husband-and-wife team of Mark and Mandie Murphy, caught me off guard with their first pitch. Typically when I think of baseball and beer together, my mind conjures up images of the bland, fizzy stuff they hock in the bleachers at Rogers Centre, which usually looks the same in the urinal as it did in the plastic cup.
Eephus, however, is an oatmeal brown ale with the appearance of iced coffee, and aromas like dates, brown sugar, a bit of vanilla bean and some woodiness. If you’re drinking this during the game, Cracker Jacks would be a great match.
The name might be a little “Inside Baseball” – an eephus is a seldom-heard term for a low-speed, junk pitch – but the rookie product turned out to be a solid lead off hitter. At 5.5% ABV, you can enjoy this one right from the national anthem until the fat lady sings.
Batting second in the order is 6-4-3 Double I-P-A (a reference to the scoring of a double play that typically starts with a grounder to short). Left Field’s sophomore offering pours a hazy, honey-gold body with an off-white head. This could easily be called Grapefruit League, because of the bitter, citrus fruit aroma that hits you in the nose like a line shot back at the mound. Once that subsides though, you’re left with aromas of dried mango, sweetgrass and some shortbread.
Expect to find flavours like pine, toasted oats and even seltzer once this crosses the plate… err.. palate. This one comes in at 8.4% ABV, so if your game goes into extra innings don’t be surprised if you’re not seeing the ball quite so clearly.
As Left Field’s own website suggests, 6-4-3 would go great with warm, soft pretzel, dunked in hot mustard.
Tasting conducted June 2013, with Sam Gould (@TheBarleyBabe)