It’s an increasingly common sight weekend mornings at the intersection of Dill and State streets: lines of people, mostly young adult men, grinning with anticipation.
They’ll be back this Saturday. And there will probably be more of them than ever.
At 11:30 that morning, Prison City Pub & Brewery will release its Mass Riot India pale ale in 16-ounce cans for the first time. It’s the same beer Paste Magazine named No. 1 in a August 2016 blind tasting of almost 250 IPAs from across America. Since its profile exploded that summer, Mass Riot has been released a few times in Crowlers (32-ounce cans). But customers could only get one or two. Saturday, they’ll be able to get up to four four-packs — a reward more worth long drives and longer waits in line.
Saturday’s release will therefore see Prison City deliver Mass Riot into more hands than ever, the Auburn brewpub’s biggest effort yet to meet the demand for a product that was effectively named the best of its kind. And the IPA style is far and away the most popular in craft beer today, with flavors ranging from bitter pine resin to sweet fruit juice. So after Paste singled out Prison City’s for perfecting the latter extreme, beer enthusiasts from across the country descended on the brewpub, desperate to get a taste of brewer Ben Maeso’s creation.