It’s widely known that some beers can create a cult following. People go bonkers over Hop Slam or Heady Topper, but in Alabama, we go bonkers over something that’s a little closer to home. Good People’s Snake Handler Double IPA is brewed year-round, but it hits cans only once a year. If you listen at your favorite beer spot, you can usually hear people inquiring about when “Snake”, as people in the know refer to it, will hit the shelves. It’s interesting to consider that it’s on tap 12 months of the year, but the real mayhem hits when social media boasts a picture of that glorious green and orange can. By releasing only a small batch in cans once a year, the celebrity of Snake Handler grows and grows, thus causing shelves to be emptied within weeks of the release. This year, I was told that only around a thousand cases were brewed and distributed throughout Good People’s distribution area. I was lucky enough to pick up one of the four packs and then a few days later I picked up three more. I figured considering the timely release, there was no other beer that deserved to be enjoyed and written about. So here are my thoughts:
First, you should open this and immediately take in the fragrance of a blissful cornucopia of citrus, pine, and malt that blend together to create one of the most beautiful bouquets in all of beer. Really though, there’s a lot of great citrus scents like grapefruit and orange peel as well as some nice pine notes with overtones of sweet malts. It pours a deep, dark golden orange color, almost rust like in comparison, and slightly cloudy, with a fluffy layer of head that looked about two finger widths high. The head settles slowly and leaves a nice bit of lacing on the glass with still a think layer of creamy head that rests on top of the beer.
When you taste this beer, be ready for a mouthful of flavor, because that’s what you’re going to get. Caramel sweetness on the front end carries you through a creamy malt character that really makes this one an easy drinker. As you continue through each sip, the bitterness grows into a piney, citrus flavor that covers your entire tongue. Let it be said that this is a very bitter beer if you’re not used to DIPA style beers. To those of us who have a conditioned palate, it has a nice bitterness characteristic. After the swallow, the sweetness fades into a citrus aftertaste that can certainly make your mouth water.
From beginning to end, this is a hophead’s beer. It has everything we love about Double IPA beers but with an amazingly complex flavor that is so rarely found. The sweetness really enhances the citrus and the bread-like malt really plays off the caramel. I could go on and on, but I’m on a word count here so I can’t really rave as much as I would like. Just know it’s amazing and it’s everything you could want.
The mouthfeel is perfect, as always. It has a medium-to-full-body that does leave you feeling a little heavy in the stomach, but that’s okay! You don’t have to drink multiples of this beer to have a good time. Carbonation is always on point with Good People beers, and it’s something I truly admire. The beer warms you up and also has the ability to loosen you up as well, seeing as those it hammers in at around 10% ABV. This is a beer you would drink while calling a long lost friend or while reading a great piece in a magazine. It’s meant to be enjoyed and that’s how it should be treated.
Overall, this is just one of those beers for me. The taste is everything I could want it to be and then more. To put it simply, they just know what they’re doing. Good People creates some of the best beers made in the country. I know I’m not alone when I say that this beer has the potential to stand up against the best of the best in this style. I may be a little biased but if you’ve tried it then you know and if you haven’t, you should do so as soon as you can.

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