It’s cold…Put a sweater on that beer!

By on January 10, 2018


Vocal Harmonix, a 40-voice women’s acappella chorus that practices weekly in Lititz, is hosting open house sessions on four upcoming Monday nights.

Just in time for these nearly unbearable winter temps, Appalachian Brewing Company based a beer on a piece of clothing we could all use right now: a sweater. It turns out Argyle Sweater IPA, which was released on Monday at all ABC locations, is inspired by one particular argyle-donning employee. Joe Hoover, ABC’s director of finance and administration, has been with the company for 10 years and likes argyle…a lot.

“It really came out of nowhere. We were joking around one day at lunch about stupid beer names and here it came,” said Hoover. “I’m generally known to wear argyle, either on my socks or my sweaters. I’ve worn argyle since I was a kid. My mother always joked that I was a four-year old going on 45. She wasn’t too far off.”

The Harrisburg native held positions in the public sector as a CPA accountant and as an auditor for the state auditor general, but when he saw ABC needed an accountant he jumped at the opportunity.

“This is a whole lot more interesting than all of the accountant stuff you could be doing in the world,” said Hoover, who is an IPA fan.

New England style IPAs (or NEIPAs as some overzealous acronymizers have dubbed the style) are single or double IPAs, which are unfiltered. The result is a distinctly juicy and hazy brew, and probably the IPA style I could most tolerate. The aroma of Argyle Sweater is rich and citrusy, and the taste delivers with a hoppy fruitiness and beautiful mouthfeel. New England style IPAs are a hot trend in brewing.

“Hopefully, New England style IPAs are a fad that sticks around for a while, because I’m enjoying it,” said Hoover.

Brewed with a blend of modern German hops (Hallertau varieties) and the new Ariana hops from Washington state, Argyle Sweater is a refreshing spin on a winter release. Brewers working with Ariana have noted intense flavors of grapefruit, gooseberry, black currant, and vanilla in their end product.

There is a lot of grapefruit in Argyle Sweater. The addition of Huell Melon hops gives this beer a little bit of funk to go with the fruit. What’s missing is that metallic twinge on the aftertaste associated with some IPAs — which I can’t stand, but my wife loves. Overall, this is a solid, impressive beer.

Argyle Sweater joins the Lititz ABC line-up of Farm Show Pale Ale, Grinnin’ Grizzly Spiced Ale, and other seasonal brews, plus the flagship regulars.

In other beer release news: Kettleface, a double dry hopped imperial red ale, hits the streets of Ephrata and Columbia Wednesday, Jan. 10. The now annual collab brew between St. Boniface and Columbia Kettle Works is back on tap at both breweries and four-packs are available to go. The beer follows the same recipe as before and clocks in at 8.5 percent ABV with 100 IBU.

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at and

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