Jul 31, 2014

Lickinghole Creek Four Pillars

I’ve had a few of Lickinghole Creek’s brews over the past couple of months. The company’s farm to bottle methodology — and simply wonderful beer — has garnered them quite the following in Virginia, their Goochland farm brewery often swelling with each new release. Their Four Pillars is the latest brew I’ve had the opportunity to purchase and it may be labeled as an Imperial IPA, but it drinks with incredible balance.

Weighing in at 7.5% ABV and 70 IBU, Four Pillars isn’t the most potent example of the style in either metric. The beer showcases the company’s home-grown hops and barley while still maintaining a measured restraint that exudes balance and highlights the brew’s deceptive drinkability. Yes, there are plenty of hop flavors throughout, but there’s also a countering malt backbone that supports everything quite well.

Four Pillars isn’t a hop bomb and doesn’t really compare to many of its peers in terms of hop flavor, but it outshines many of those others with incredible harmony of flavor.


The beer pours with a tawny cap of foam that falls gently atop the rusty copper brew, leaving behind light lace work.

Lickinghole Creek Four Pillars photo


Light citrus, caramel, balancing bready malt, hints of grapefruit, honey, orange zest and subtle pine notes come together quite smoothly for a rather subdued aroma for this style of beer.


The first thing you notice is the incredible harmony between citrusy, piney hops and the malty, caramel backbone. Hints of grapefruit and orange persist as a light honey and soft sweetness join in. There’s a good bit of bitterness that lingers for a long while after the light warmth in the finish has faded. The brew has an overall fresh and earthy character.

Lickinghole Creek Four Pillars photo


Four Pillars is unlike many examples of an Imperial IPA. It’s restrained, balanced (I can’t say this enough) and doesn’t give in to the typical “hoppy” nature of the style. Full flavored and smooth — just a treat of a beer.

Rating: 4.25/5

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