It looks like Rhinegeist might have a new hustle coming to Cincinnati, and I’m not talking about Weed growing operations, or gondolas that stretch across the expanse of OTR to shuttle drinkers to a park. I’m talking about my favorite Hustle that they’ve ever tried – a certain Rye Pale Ale that turned into a Red Lager and upset a lot of geeks.
I think we need a little backstory, don’t we?
The journey of Hustle started back on draft in 2014 before making it’s way into cans for the 2015 baseball season. These cans were amazing. The area of the can that features whatever color represents the beer inside, you know… that space right below the Rhinegeist logo? They replaced the space with the stitching from a baseball, and it was beautiful. The beer was just as delicious as the cans were, a Rye Pale Ale that I instantly fell in love with.
In 2017 though, the brewery replaced the beer with a Red Lager, that while delicious in its own right, was a complete 180 from what it used to be. The real stinker? They changed the cans too. They took all the character the baseball brought to the party, and instead featured a red background that while it matched the “reds theme” made me only miss what used to be. The cans weren’t ugly, the beer wasn’t bad (it was actually a really solid red lager) but… my beloved hustle had been neutered.
The good news today is that we might get a little bit of that original hustle back, even if it’s just in the packaging. This new IPA is definitely not a red lager – but it doesn’t sound (or look) like our original Hustle, either.
The New? Hustle
The new baseball logo is bright white, instead of the yellowed, tan color that we had before. This is a new baseball in a lot of ways. The beer clocks in at 6% ABV with 50 IBUs, a change from the original Pale Ale, for sure. The beer is an IPA, and the description reads:
Off the crack of the bat, spikes dug in, exploding with speed – Hustle breaks the game wide open. This India Pale Ale takes a hard, hoppy cut at a soft, fluffy hanging curve, driving notes of peach, tangerine and citrus back, back, back… gone.
Here’s what we don’t know, though. What this beer is exactly… I’m just looking at a label approval, and I’m sure that we won’t get a look at this beer until closer to baseball season (if we do at all… you know how these label approvals work – they aren’t a guarantee) I don’t know if this is going to become another Rye based hoppy glass of brilliance again, or if this is closer to some of the other IPAs that we’ve seen from Rhinegeist in the recent past. All we can do at this point is cross our fingers and hope for the return of something like the old Hustle!
If you are still curious about more, you can read tasting notes form the original, pre 2017 version, as well as the Red Lager here, and as soon as I get my hands on this I’ll be sure to have updated ones up too!