Tag Archives: IPA

Breaking Bud

I went camping with my family over the weekend in California’s gold country. A few of us went to the Knee Deep Brewing Company in Auburn to try some of their amazing craft beers. Hoptologist is probably their flagship beer but they have a lot of other brews that rival it, chief amongst them is Breaking Bud. It’s a pretty amazing American IPA. It pours a nice golden color with a thick white head. The aroma is of citrus hops like grapefruit and subtle orange peels, and there is also a little pine and malt as well. It tastes of grapefruit, tropical fruits, dank hops, and little resin. Not only is it a great beer, it also pays homage to Walter White and Breaking Bad. How can you not want to try it? Pick it up if you see it at the store. The brewery is definitely worth checking out if you’re ever in the Auburn area. Plus they sell it in growlers or crowlers (32 ounces sealed in an aluminum can) so you can buy it in bulk. If you like IPAs, you’ll love this beer.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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National IPA Day

August 7, 2014 is National IPA Day, a day to celebrate any beer fortunate enough to be labeled an India Pale Ale. IPAs are known for their bitter and hoppy taste and date back to the early 1800s when the British had to send beer that wouldn’t spoil to India. IPAs have a lot more flavor than domestic lagers and have an acquired taste. Nobody truly enjoys their first IPA. You have to keep drinking them before you start appreciating them. I started drinking them a few years ago and now consider craft brewed IPAs to be my go-to beer. Bold taste, high alcohol percentage, filling… all hallmarks of a delicious beer to me. You don’t need a real reason to drink good beer, but National IPA Day is a good excuse to do so. I’m commemorating the holiday with a nice stout because I’m a rebel like that.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Stone Enjoy By 08.16.14

Stone Brewing Co.’s Enjoy By series is one of my favorite line of beers. Every couple of months they release a new beer that you must consume by a certain date, in this case you must enjoy it by the August 16th, 2014. It’s a fresh Double IPA with lots of citrus and floral hops and a nice malty backbone. It’s a big boy beer. You have to appreciate beers with high IBUs and you won’t enjoy this brew if you don’t know what IBU stands for. It has a 9.4% ABV so you only need one or two to start having a good time. It’s pretty drinkable for a heavy beer. I’ve always been a fan of Stone Brewing and limited releases. They seem to have hit gold with Enjoy By. Try it today and see what all the fuss is about.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Stone RuinTen IPA

RuinTen IPA is a summer release from Stone Brewing Co. It’s an American Double/Imperial IPA and was first released in 2012 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of their popular Ruination IPA, but it’s now been rereleased and renamed as RuinTen IPA and here we are now. It pours a dark copper color with an offwhite head. It’s a hoppy beer. It smells hoppy and it tastes hoppy, mostly citrus hops but some pine hops as well. There’s a malty backbone but it’s overwhelmed and overpowered by the aggressive hops. Did I mention that it’s hoppy? Because it is. It has a nice boozy finish, which is in thanks to it’s hefty 10.8% ABV. It’s a nice beer to relax with at the end of a long day.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Stone Enjoy By 07.04.14

Enjoy By 07.04.14 is a once-in-a-lifetime Double IPA from California’s Stone Brewing Company. It pours a clear and bright amber color with a nice foamy head with nice retention. It smells amazing. Lots of floral, citrus, and pine hops with a little malt aroma. It tastes like what you want from a Double IPA. It’s extremely hoppy with a dry malty backbone. I taste pine, resin, citrus, orange peel, and pepper. It’s hard to believe that it has a 9.4% ABV. I feel like I could drink it all day, but I would probably pass out after the fourth one. This beer creeps up on you. Be cautious because this brew has the power to make or break your night.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Union Jack IPA

Union Jack IPA in an American India Pale Ale from California’s Firestone Walker Brewing Company. It’s a better than average IPA that pours a nice orange-amber color with a fluffy white head and nice lacing. The aroma is tropical hops, citrus, and bready malts, but it’s muted compared to other IPAs. It tastes great. Lots of citrus hops, tropical fruit, a hint of pine, and a malty undertone. It’s sweet, it’s bitter, it’s dry, and it’s delicious. It’s pretty malty for an IPA, which gives it a lot of balance. Factor in the 7.5% ABV and you have yourself quite a brew. I would get it again, I would drink it again, and I would suggest it to anybody looking for a nice India Pale Ale or craft beer.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Hoppy Daze (beer)

Hoppy Daze is a Belgian Style India Pale Ale from California’s Coronado Brewing Company. It pours a golden amber color with a large white head. It has a predominantly hoppy scent with aromas of cloves, Belgian yeast, citrus, and light malt. I like how it tastes. I get a lot of herbal and citrus hops, honey, spice, coriander, bready malt, pine, and pepper. It’s a satisfying Belgian IPA and a good craft brew, but I wouldn’t call it a great beer. If I ever write a list of my top hundred beers, Hoppy Daze wouldn’t be on it. It would make the top two hundred though. I drink way too much beer.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Stone Enjoy By 04.20.14 IPA

Stone Brewing Company presents Enjoy By 04.20.14 IPA. It’s a limited release Double IPA and it comes with specific instructions to drink it by April 20th, 2014. They don’t want you to save it or age it. It’s a fresh brew that needs to be consumed as quickly as possible. And trust me, you’ll want to buy a few bottles so you can enjoy it before it disappears forever. This is a great Double IPA. It pours a clear golden color with a small white head. The nose is mostly piney hops, but I get a little citrus and whiffs of sweet malts. The flavor profile is a balance between pine and citrus hops with a malty backbone. It’s kind of sweet, but there is something spicy going on that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s very mellow and smooth to drink, but the 9.4% alcohol content will sneak up on you. This is my kind of beer: a limited batch IPA from a great brewery and lots of subtle references to marijuana subculture. It’s made by Stone, it’s described as being devastatingly dank, and you have to drink it by 4/20. Motherfucking 4/20! If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon it, jump on it.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA

Stone Brewing Co. is responsible for the Stochasticity Project, a new experiment in craft brewing. Grapefruit Slam IPA is the first beer, and considering I’ve bought three 22-ounce bottles in the past week, I would say the experiment was a rousing success. Grapefruit Slam IPA is an American Double/Imperial IPA with grapefruit peel added. The grapefruit peel is quite apparent, both in the aroma and in the flavor of the beer. The nose has citrus and pine hops, with a little caramel and toasted malt to balance it out. I can taste a lot of citrus hops with some pine and resin, and there’s also a malty backbone but it’s mostly hoppy. It has a satisfying 8.2% ABV. The label art will grab your attention. It has blue grid background that seems like something out of The Matrix with bold white lettering. It’s always exciting trying a new beer. And Grapefruit Slam IPA has only been around since mid-February of this year, so it really is a new beer. Buy it and try it.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Apex Special IPA

Apex Special IPA in an Imperial India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co. It’s not available year round so you should snag a bottle or a 6-pack if you come across it. It has a nice orangey gold color with a thick whitish head. The aroma has a lot of hops, as you would expect from a good IPA. I get a lot of citrus like orange, grapefruit, maybe even tangerine, but there’s also a little pine and resin too. It’s balanced with toasted and sugary malts. The taste is more balanced than the aroma would have you believe. Yeah, you get a lot of citrus and pine hops, but the toasted malt has a bigger presence than I thought it would. I also taste orange, grapefruit, melon… it’s definitely fruity, but there’s also pine, resin, and spice. It’s delicious. I could drink it all day. But it’s 8.95% alcohol so I probably shouldn’t. This is a very good IPA. I’m happy it’s in my belly.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale

Racer 5 India Pale Ale is an IPA from Healdsburg, California’s Bear Republic Brewing Co. It’s one of their flagship brews along with Red Rocket Ale. It pours a golden orange color with a small white head. It has a nice hoppy aroma with traces of citrus, cedar, pine, and sweet malts. It tastes like you would expect. I get lots of citrus hops, grapefruit, orange, orange peel, some pine hops, and it’s balanced with toasty malt. It’s not as bitter as I thought it would be. The 7.5% alcohol content isn’t as high as I’d like it to be, but this is a solid IPA and worth trying. Me likey.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Youngbear-republic-racer-5-ipa

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Lagunitas DayTime Ale

DayTime Ale is an IPA from Petaluma, California’s Lagunitas Brewing Co. It’s a fractional IPA, meaning it has a lower alcohol content, but it still looks, smells, and tastes like a regular IPA. It’s only 4.65% alcohol, which is less than Budweiser. It pours a golden yellow color with a thick and foamy white head. It has a citrusy hop aroma with herbs, grass, and pine. It tastes hoppy, but it’s a lighter hop than your standard IPA. I get hints of grass, pine, grapefruit, and a little sweetness. I wouldn’t classify it as bitter. It’s like a slightly watered down IPA. I like it, it’s refreshing, crisp, and a good day drinking beer. It’s also a good introductory craft beer. It won’t overwhelm you, but you still get more flavor than most domestics.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Lagunitas Sucks

In 2011 the Lagunitas Brewing Company didn’t have the brewing capacity to make Brown Shugga’ Ale, their popular winter seasonal. So in response they created this beer and owned up to their mistake by naming it Lagunitas Sucks. Its full name is Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga’ Substitute Ale. And while it wasn’t Brown Shugga’, it was still a delicious beer in its own right. It was so good that Lagunitas started making it available year-round. They include a funny apology on the label, which explains how the beer came to be, and it adds to the personality of the beer. It’s an American Double/Imperial IPA. It pours a beautiful golden copper with a foamy white head. It smells of hops, citrus, and pine. It tastes great. It’s hoppy, malty, and creamy. I get hints of grapefruit, mango, orange, pine, brown sugar, and toasted bread. It’s very satisfying and very drinkable. It’s 8% alcohol and you can’t even tell. Lagunitas Sucks doesn’t suck.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Rhizing Bines

Dogfish Head is one of the best breweries on the East Coast. Sierra Nevada is one of the best breweries on the West Coast. Somehow the two breweries got together and gave birth to Rhizing Bines, a delicious and smooth IPA. It pours a golden copper with a nice foamy head. It has a great aroma. I smell citrus hops, caramel, florals, and sweetness. It tastes hoppy at first but quickly becomes smooth, creamy, and malty. It’s very well balanced. It’s hoppy and malty, it’s sweet and bitter. It’s a complex beer, but it passes the test. It has an 8% ABV and the alcohol will creep up on you. It’s not the best beer I’ve had, but it’s probably in my top twenty-five.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Heroine India Pale Ale

Heroine India Pale Ale is an IPA from Petaluma, California’s 101 North Brewing Company. This is a pretty standard IPA with a nice malty aroma with resin, pine, floral, and citrus hops. It has a nice bitter taste. It has a good balance between toasted and caramel malts and pine and citrus hops. It vaguely reminds me of a red ale. It’s very drinkable and goes down creamy and smooth. The 7.2% ABV isn’t too impressive, but it will sneak up on you. All in all, it’s a typical IPA but the label art makes it stand out. There’s a picture of a sexy, athletic chick that has a little bit of a Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix thing going on. It’s eye-catching. People will notice it in your hand and ask you what you are drinking. I’ve already had a few people approach me out of curiosity to see what I’m sipping on and I just cracked it a few minutes ago. It’s not the best IPA, but it’s solid and satisfying and makes you look cool. What more do you need?

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

Dogfish Head was one of the first craft brewers to really explode and kick off the current beer renaissance that we are enjoying today. Their 90 Minute Imperial IPA has won them awards and recognition from beer drinkers from all over the world. A lot of people say it is a perfect IPA. You can’t consider yourself a beer buff if you’ve never tried it. It has a well balanced aroma of hops and malt, flowers and honey. The flavor is pine and citrus hops, bready malt, and hints of coffee and caramel. It goes down clean, creamy, and smooth. It’s very well-rounded and you can’t even notice the 9.0% alcohol content. This is a gateway beer. Once you try a premium craft beer like this, you can’t go back to that mass-produced lager bullshit.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Ninkasi Maiden The Shade

Maiden The Shade is a limited release IPA from Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing Company. It’s a clever name for a beer, it’s got a little pun action going on and everyone appreciates a good pun. The artwork on the label is pretty cool. There’s a Medusa-looking maiden sitting underneath a tree made of hops with a devil butterfly creeping up on her. It smells of citric hops, pineapple, grapefruit, mango, floral, and spice. It tastes of pine and citric hops with a slight bread malt flavor. Its bitterness is counterbalanced with subtle fruit sweetness. It’s got a 6.8% alcohol content, which is on the lower side of acceptable for a limited release microbrew IPA. All in all, this is a solid beer. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it again.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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