Posts Tagged With: American IPA

Elysian The Immortal IPA

Beer: The Immortal IPA
Brewery: Elysian Brewing Company
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.3%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: Skinner’s Loft, Jersey City, NJ
Primary Consumer: Ally
Secondary Consumer: James, Ally’s awesome bro-in-law



Sight: Clear golden color with a fluffy, creamy, two-finger head.

Smell: Clean fruits and florals.

Flavor: Definitely hops, that come through as a mild floral and pine taste.

Feel: Crisp, with low-to-moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remark:  Seattle’s Elysian Brewing Company uses Chinook, Amarillo, and Centennial hops to make its Immortal IPA.  James says it “tastes like grunge and flannel,” which can be interpreted as an enjoyable Seattle brew that stays true to hoppy West Coast IPA standards.  The carbonation was less than one might expect, but that flavor makes for a good drink.

Categories: India Pale Ale | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Flying Fish HopFish IPA

Beer: HopFish IPA
Brewery: Flying Fish Brewing Co.
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.5%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Mug
Drinking Establishment: Surf City, Jersey City, NJ
Primary Consumer: Ally
Secondary Consumer: Laura, Ally’s sister



Sight: Clear golden/copper/amber color.  Not much of a head, just a dusting of bubbles.  Nice lacing, though.

Smell: Metallic, fruity hops (like apricot).  A very, very mild pine.

Flavor: The apricot fruitiness is at the forefront, and the hop aftertaste lingers in the back of the throat.

Feel: Medium mouthfeel, almost syrupy, but still crisp.  Moderate-to-high carbonation.

Concluding Remark: NJ brewery Flying Fish uses three hop varieties (Nugget, Ahtahnum, and Columbus) and a combination of American, English, and German malts to create its HopFish IPA.  The result is a refreshing brew with definite drinkability; it’s balanced, not too bitter, and what you’d expect from an IPA.  A good summer beer.

Categories: India Pale Ale | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Weyerbacher Last Chance IPA

Beer: Last Chance IPA
Brewery: Weyerbacher Brewing Company
Style: IPA
ABV: 5.9%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: The Old Bay, New Brunswick, NJ
Primary Consumer: Ally
Secondary Consumer: Husband Joe the Scientist



Sight: Looks like apple juice with a disappearing cream-colored head on it.  Nice lacing, too.

Smell: Bright floral aroma with notes of alcohol–lab-grade methanol, to be exact.

Flavor: Straightforward hop flavor–bitterness, pine, and grapefruit or citrus pith.

Feel: Medium mouthfeel with moderate-to-high carbonation.

Concluding Remark: Weyerbacher’s Last Chance IPA is a solid rendition of the India Pale Ale.  It’s made with a combination of four different hops–Centennial, Cascade, Simcoe, and Columbus–and has every flavor note one would expect from these varietals.  Nothing too flashy or unique; just straightforward IPA-ness going on here.  And to make you feel even happier while drinking it, Weyerbacher donates a portion of the proceeds from this beer to regional animal rescue operations (thus the name, “Last Chance.”)  So you can feel good knowing that as you enjoy your array of hops, you’re helping dogs, cats, and other pets find a new home.

Categories: India Pale Ale | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

AleSmith IPA

Beer: IPA
Brewery: AleSmith Brewing Company
Style: IPA
ABV: 7.25%


Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: A New Brunswick apartment
Primary Consumer: Kerensa



Sight: Clear amber body with a frothy off-white head.

Smell: It smells like being in a wet jungle, surrounded by the most divine citrus fruits on the planet–I get pineapple, tangerine, and mango in one waft. These incredible aromas are created by at least three strains of hops (likely Citra, Cascade, and Amarillo).

Flavor: It’s quite balanced and not overly hopped, which is actually a bit of a let down. I was hoping that AleSmith’s IPA would reek of hops. It doesn’t. However, what it does have is a nice grapefruit flavor and the expected piney bitterness.

Feel: Perfection, absolute perfection. It has a thin, velvety body with robust carbonation.

Concluding Remark:  AleSmith’s bottle-conditioned IPA is a 2001 award winner. And I’m sure it was, in 2001. However, the smell of this award-winning brew is far superior to its taste. It’s without a doubt above average, but you don’t walk away having experienced a hops extravaganza, which all stellar IPAs should provide (in my opinion). I recommend trying a 750ml just to experience the sensational smell. The brew will go down easy, too.

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Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA

Beer: 75 Minute IPA
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Style: IPA
ABV: 7.5%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Wine glass
Drinking Establishment: The Fant Mansion
Primary Consumer: Ally
Secondary Consumer: Laura, Ally’s sister



Sight: Gorgeous, multi-faceted golden honey color with darker amber waves throughout.  A 2-finger thick and foamy ivory-colored head with some lacing.

Smell: Classic IPA hoppiness (Cascade hops, to be exact) with a note of sweetness in the realm of caramel or the added maple syrup.

Flavor: Sweet maple, caramel, and floral notes, with a woodsy hop aftertaste.  Very balanced!

Feel: Crisp, light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remark: The Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA is actually a blend of their 60 Minute and 90 Minute IPAs, dry-hopped with whole-leaf Cascades and bottle conditioned with maple syrup.  The result?  A complex, well-balanced beer that will appeal to both IPA fans and non-believers alike.  The sweetness of the maple syrup (which, Laura notes, results in a caramel-like flavor) complements and mellows out the hops.  If you’re looking for something sweeter or just an interesting twist on the standard IPA, this is it.  And if you’re just looking for a darn good beer to share with a friend (it comes in a 750ml bottle), this is also it.  You know, this beer is pretty much a winner no matter what you’re looking for.  I wish it didn’t have such a limited release!

Categories: India Pale Ale | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

The American IPA: Amber waves of grain…and malts…and of course, hops.

For the month in which we celebrate the birthday of America, it was an easy choice to decide on which beer style to celebrate: the American IPA!  Not unlike our own great country, this is a brew that originated in England; but like all great things made in the U. S. of A., we’ve take the style and made it our own: strong, bold, and patriotically hop-tastic.

A Brief History of the IPA: Survival of the Fittest

The India Pale Ale, or IPA, traces its roots back to the earliest Pale Ales of the 14th century–ales which were brewed from pale malt.  But when the 18th century rolled around, England wanted to begin sending beer to its troops stationed around the world, including in India, where the warm climate was none too conducive for brewing.  To prevent spoilage during the six-month trip overseas (these were the days before refrigeration and pasteurization), brewers raised the alcohol content of their beer and added hops–both of which help to prevent the growth of bacteria in beer.  The result?  A strong, bitter beer that the English soldiers, and eventually, the general public, happily embraced.  And so, the IPA was born.

George Hodgson: Man or Myth?

Many histories of the IPA credit a brewer named George Hodgson with “inventing” the first IPA in 1785; but really, this man, who worked at the Bow Brewery (located a bit east of London, near the Middlesex-Essex border), was just the first to gain supremacy in the Indian market through his dealings with the East India Company.  It is more likely that other brewers, including those in Burton upon Trent (a town well known for its brewing industry), were creating similar brews as Hodgson was selling his, as any brewer worthy of his title would know that beers high in alcohol and hops would have the best chance of surviving a long journey overseas.  And as for the date–1785–that is the year during which an advertisement ran in the Calcutta Gazette for the Hodgson-style Pale Ale; but 1785 was simply the date that this British-Indian newspaper was first published, not necessarily the year that Pale Ale began its existence in India.  In fact, there are records going back to the early 1700s in which the India-style Pale Ale is mentioned–and from Burton brewers, no less.  So we can probably say with some confidence that although Mr. Hodgson might’ve helped popularize the IPA, he most likely didn’t invent it.

America, Fuck Yeah!

Okay, so we know America likes to take things and make them bigger, better, faster, and stronger; well, the IPA is no different, and nowadays you’ll be hard-pressed to find a craft brewery in the U.S. that doesn’t have an original IPA in their line-up.  In the American IPAs you’ll find hops a-plenty, in regional varietals: Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, Amarillo, Tomahawk, Warrior, Nugget, et al, with an ABV clocking in at around 6.0-8.0%.  (The Brits like to stick to their own hop varieties, such as Golding, Fuggles, and Bullion, and the ABV usually falls somewhere between 4.0-6.5%.)  And of course, America kicks it up a notch by offering Double IPAs (also known as Imperial IPAs), which are stronger in both flavor and alcohol content (~7.0-14.0%), i.e. hop flavor to the maxxx.  This style originated on the West Coast, but has made its way cross-country, because even gals in New Jersey need to get punched in the face with a fistful of hops every now and then.  As Brendan Moylan, founder of the Moylan Brewing Company in Novato, CA, puts it, “We’re the same country that put men on the moon, and we’re taking the same approach to beer…We passed the rest of the world by ages ago, and they’re just waking up to it.”  Couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Brendan.  Fuck yeah.

(Read more about Mr. Moylan in this great New York Times article about how X-TREME America is in its IPA brewing.)

Uncle Sam wants YOU to drink beer.

So, what to expect from the American IPA?

Sight: Look for a color ranging from very pale gold to reddish amber, with a white or off-white sticky head.  Most American IPAs will be relatively clear, but the unfiltered or dry-hopped varieties will appear a bit hazy.

Smell: The aroma of an American IPA is of course that of American hops: citrusy, floral, piney, herbal, or fruity.  Oh, and don’t forget bitter.  You might get a slight note of malts, but not as strong as you’ll find in an English IPA.

Flavor: As expected, the dominant flavor will be hops, hops, and more hops.  The same citrus-flower-pine-or-fruit notes from the American hops will be present, and a clean maltiness will balance out some of the hoppy bitterness, although it’s the bitterness that will probably be the main lingering aftertaste.  Some of the more alcoholic varieties will likely (but not surprisingly) give you some notes of alcohol as well.

Feel: A smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel.

So, happy birthday, America.  This month, we celebrate our life, our liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–and by happiness, we mean the consumption of delicious, delicious beer.  Cheers to American IPAs!

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