Sometimes, the most important and influential people in our lives can be our grandfathers. Both of mine were part of the greatest generation, and both of the proudly served in the Military during WWII. Steady Habit Brewing Company, one of Connecticut’s newest breweries, wanted their flagship beer to have a deep personal connection to the owner’s own grandfather. Recounting stories he used to tell, the owner recalled one phrase his grandfather uttered during his war days: “He died with his boots on.” And voilà. Steady Habit’s double IPA pays homage not only to family, but to hard work, sacrifice, selflessness, and heroism. Let’s run them numbers…
Smell: Incredible balance on the nose. I get some fruity characteristics like apple, mango, orange, grapefruit but it also has a hoppy and resiny punch to it. You can smell some of the sugars from the grain in there as well. The smells in here are diverse but mesh nicely, analogous to the melting pot that was 1920s America.
Taste: It’s really hard to distinctly identify any one flavor that dominates this brew. There is a vibrant hop character to the beer that adds freshness and bitterness, but tagging along are some tropical tastes and grapefruit. Those flavors linger for a bit, but I can clearly pick up on the grain used in here as it adds a touch of sugary sweetness to balance out some of the acidic tastes from the hops used. The finish is bitter enough that the sides of the tongue are dancing around in your mouth, and the only way to quiet the pitter-patter is to delve right back into the glass.
The fact that I just want more and more of this DIPA is a testament to how drinkable this beer is. Its 8% ABV is nothing to scoff at, yet it goes down super easy. I wish these guys were a little bit bigger so they could fill full growlers, but the 750 mL swing-tops will do for now. I actually like the approach of filling only 750s so everybody can experience the goodness of Steady Habit. The carbonation in here is perfect, especially considering how green the brewery is (one month old), and the mouthfeel on Boots is medium bodied. The sugars in here leave a nice coating on the mouth.
Overall: I’m impressed by Steady Habit’s flagship. New breweries are popping up left and right in CT right now, but I have a feeling that Steady Habit will be a steady habit for anyone in the area. New England Brewing and OEC are staples in the state, but once the word travels, Steady Habit will soon have expand out of the baby clothes they are wearing right now. All things considered, I have to give Boots an A. A little hometown bias? Perhaps, but I think this is drinking far better than Sip of Sunshine and is on par with Julius. This beer is wonderfully balanced and leaves little to be desired – drink this when you get a chance. This is a type of hard working, honest brewery your grandfather would be proud of.