Tasting Slightly Mighty
Right off the bat, I’m excited to try this beer. After all, this is the brewery that made one of the essential American craft beers of all time: 60 Minute IPA. I know that this IPA will not, cannot, should not, and could not taste like 60 Minute. But somewhere in the back of my head I wonder, "What if it does?! What if they pull this off?!" (OK, they don’t pull it off, but I’m trying to give you a feel for how high my hopes were.)
Right off the bat, it looks different than your average light beer. There’s a beautiful gold color emanating from my pint glass, and the aromas are on point: it smells like hops! Holy moly, they’ve done it! Granted, I haven’t taken a sip yet. I should do that. After a few long pulls from the pint, it’s clear that it doesn’t taste like what I expect from a Dogfish IPA. But it does taste like it’s in that ballpark. Granted, this beer has nosebleed seats, but it’s in the damn ballpark, and that’s the key. It’s not hoppy, but there’s plenty of delicious pineapple notes, and it wasn’t watery in the way many light beers tend to be -- more on that in a bit. I even found that taking a big ol' whiff of the beer’s plentiful hop aromas before I took a sip enhanced my experience.
How does it compare to mass-produced light beer?
This beer fills in nicely as craft beer’s answer to the best-selling light beers brewed by macrobrewers like Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, so it was only fair that we taste Slightly Mighty next to another low-carb beer. The nutritional content of this generic light beer is close to the Dogfish low-calorie beer when it comes to ABV, calories, and carbs.
While the Dogfish brew pours a deep gold, the generic beer isn’t as pleasant to the eye: the color can best be described as a weak yellow. It’s like if you were writing with a yellow marker and the ink was about to run out. The hop character is also not as present on the nose; it smells like a light beer, which is to say... the smell is not why anyone drinks it. Let’s look at the pros/cons to this mass-produced low-carb beer:
Pros: oh look, bubbles! Sessionable, a lack of carbs and calories
Cons: no noticeable hop flavor, watery
If you ever have a choice between these two beers, Dogfish is the one to reach for: it’s the beerier of the two, and you won’t feel like you’re drinking beer-flavored water. Sure, Slightly Mighty doesn’t have the hop character of a West Coast IPA, but it also doesn’t have the calories either. It’s the sensible choice for when you want a beer, but not any self-loathing for consuming too many carbs.
This is the same brewery that took apricot IPAs into the mainstream; revolutionizing the low-carb beer is practically a cakewalk.