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In the Bottle 

Crux Insider IPA

Crux is now bottling, and three flavors are available at Newport Market, although already one was sold out. Nonetheless, it was the Insider IPA I was looking for, as a treat to bring to an after-work, porch-sitting chill-out session with two other guys. Served in single pint bottles, these are perfect serving sizes. The label concludes "earthy flavors of orange peel and peppercorn," which is perhaps more poetry than I needed—not to say that this isn't a good beer with dynamic flavors, because it is all of those things, but to say that this is a beer that is more practical than poetic. It is the all-utility infielder or the Toyota Camry of IPAs—good, reliable high quality. As guys will do, our discussion about the beer played the what-guy-is-this-like game—the George Clooney of beers? Or, as I preferred, the Clay Matthews, the Green Bay Packer's star defensive back. (For those who follow football, the conversation continued, likening Deschutes Brewery to the Minnesota Vikings steady workhorse Adrian Peterson and 10 Barrel to the big-play Tom Brady.) For those who don't speak Fantasy Football, though, what we were deciding is that the Insider is a remarkable beer, in part because it is not flashy but it is, quite simply, good, a beer that deserves a place at every backyard barbecue.

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