Bus-Stop Brew

A new IPA you should BART to taste

When P.T. Lovern, a junior high school teacher and longtime homebrewer, delivered the first keg of his new Red Death IPA to its launch party in November, he took it on the bus.

The Line 51, to be exact, the AC Transit route that inspired the fledgling brewery's name. Line 51 Brewing's first beer, only available on draft, has quickly found a place on the taps of East Bay bars along the bus route–and not just because of the gimmick.

Brewed at San Jose's Hermitage Brewing, the red IPA is more of a Julianne Moore shade of auburn, its deep color and malty body contributed by a blend of Munich malts. ("I'm a 1990s kind of beer drinker," Lovern says, referring to the first big surge in popularity of red beers.)

What makes the beer so drinkable is the clean bitterness of the hops, which don't assault the nose, in typical IPA fashion, with citrus or funk, but simply cut through the beer's richness.

Lovern will be launching his next release, a seven-hop IPA named One-Inch Punch, on Tuesday, February 12, at Cato's Ale House. Naturally, he's bringing the keg on the bus. AC Transit, he says, approves.

Line 51 Brewing, line51beer.com; available at numerous locations in the East Bay