The downfall of many breweries is their unwillingness to change with the tastes of the consumer. There is definitely a balance of business and street cred amongst breweries. A brewery that has balanced this line perfectly is Oliver Brewing Company from Baltimore, Maryland. A beer that exemplifies their willingness to change is their annual Anniversary Ale, This Floor is Snakes.
Oliver has been a staple in the area for decades now. It wasn’t too long ago they were brewing exclusively low ABV British ales in a basement brewery near Camden Yards. A few key transactions and acquisitions of beer industry talent has brought the brewery up to speed, taking them out of the basement and to the forefront of the Maryland scene.
This Floor Is Snakes is the embodiment of this sea change. A massive Triple IPA (which the Brits DID NOT invent), this beer is chocked full of those fruity New Zealand hops. What I appreciate is that this isn’t a half-hearted attempt at a big IPA. While the hop flavor is certainly there, the beer never loses its balance of malt character. It is just enough that your palate never fatigues in the course of the 16 oz pour.