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Hangar 24 Craft Brewing Founder Ben Cook & Brewery GM Armin Tchami Talk Betty IPA

Hangar 24 Founder Ben Cook (left) and Brewery GM Armin Tchami (right)

We spoke with Hangar 24 Craft Brewing founder Ben Cook and brewery GM Armin Tchami about Betty IPA.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
Ben Cook: The recipe and following pilot batches were a group effort. We set out to make a modern West Coast IPA packed with as much hop flavor and aroma as possible, enough bitterness to satisfy while staying on the lower end and at a reasonable price point.

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
Ben Cook: The amount of hop flavor and aroma jam packed into this beer. When you crack one open, hops instantly fill the air. Lower bitterness allows the juicy hop flavor to shine even brighter.

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
Ben Cook: We were searching for a name that represented Americana and was tied into our aviation branding. I am a pilot and flew to Chino (CA) Airport in my small Cessna to walk their museum. I found a poster of Betty Grable, who had been viewed as a welcome memory of home for troops during WWII. Betty IPA! It was almost too perfect.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
Armin Tchami: My go-to, personally, would be a lager style, but I would circle back to Betty when I want to drink an approachable IPA.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Armin Tchami: Balanced, tropical, fruit-forward IPA, that honors West Coast classics.

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
Armin Tchami: This is the first beer that the entire team, and our loyal patrons, had a hand in developing. We brewed seven iterations of the recipe over the course of a year, receiving feedback throughout the process. It was a unique and collaborative process for all of us, and one we are proud to have participated in. The vivid memory of those combined efforts lives on in this beer.

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
Armin Tchami: Betty can be paired with foods that offer contrast or provide common characteristics. Some common pairings are blue cheese, curry dishes, bratwurst, orange marmalade, mango chutney, and steak.

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