Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Craft Beer Crosscut 8.3.17: A Flight of IPA Day

Ron Swarner

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Peaks-and-Pints-Tacoma-Beer-FlightThere is something you should know about beer: There is a holiday for virtually everything about beer that is celebrated somewhere, somehow, including today’s IPA Day, which gives glory to hops, bittering units and IPAs. Founded in 2011, IPA Day is a global celebration of craft beer. It is a universal movement that was created to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers and brewers worldwide. IPA Day was originally developed as a social media-based holiday, but has since expanded into a worldwide party, boasting hundreds of IPA-themed events, celebrations and Peaks and Pints craft beer flight. India Pale Ale (IPA) is a style of beer that has soared in popularity over the last few years. Loaded with hops, IPAs have a distinct bitterness, with flavors derived from hops that can range from citrus, to grass, to pine as well as many other flavors. The female flowering cones of hops plants (humulus lupulus) are used and do two things to beer: preserve the beer by warding off spoiling bacteria and stabilize the beer by filtering, adding head retention, and flavoring — which adds bitterness. Originally brewed in England as a beer that could withstand the long journey to India (hops act as a preservative in the beer), IPAs are now one of the most popular styles. Now for the good stuff: Peaks and Pints will pour nine IPAs from our Western red cedar tap log today, organizing five into a flight we call Craft Beer Crosscut 8.3.17: A Flight of IPA Day.

Green-Flash-Spanish-Trampoline-IPA-TacomaGreen Flash Spanish Trampoline IPA

6.6% ABV, 32 IBU

Spanish Trampoline is a hybrid strain of marijuana that smells mildly like skunk with sweet and earthy overtones. This strain will leave users feeling mellow cerebral relaxation coupled with intense body relaxation and tingling sensations in the legs. Green Flash Brewing Co. hops on the name and bounces into new territory with its Spanish Trampoline IPA featuring huge hop aroma with low bitterness. Brewed to celebrate National IPA Day, Spanish Trampoline is tropical and dank with notes of passion fruit and mango.

Georgetown-Rocketman-TacomaGeorgetown Rocketman

6.3% ABV

Georgetown Brewing’s Rocketman’s cloudiness can make this style easy to recognize: New England IPA. Hazy to the point of opaqueness, the cloudiness is most likely due to the use of high-protein malts, including white wheat and English ale yeast that remain suspended in the beer. Most beer styles call for yeast to be filtered or to naturally settle out of the final product, but Rocketman embraces it. The result is a rounder, softer body than dry West Coast IPAs; and though generously hopped, Rocketman blasts off with aromas of pineapple and oranges that are complemented with a melody of tropical flavors, you don’t get a ton of bitterness.

Alpine-Duet-IPA-TacomaAlpine Duet IPA

7% ABV, 45 IBU

Simcoe and Amarillo. Not a buddy-buddy cop movie but rather the only two hops in Alpine Beer Co.’s Duet IPA. On the nose, grassy and straw notes coincide with the pine and tangerine citrus hop blast. On the tongue, we definitely pick up the “old school” nature of the two hops — pine, grapefruit and earthy — as well as tangerine. A touch of honey and toast are also in the mix while the beer presents a pretty good amount of bite for just 45 IBU.

Boundary-Bay-Jackass-Penguin-IPA-TacomaBoundary Bay Jackass Penguin IPA

7.2% ABV, 55 IBU

The jackass penguin, also known as the African penguin, makes a sound similar to a donkey’s call. It’s restricted to the waters and rocky shores of southern Africa. In fact, it is in the only species of penguin that nests in Africa. Sadly, due to recent environmental disturbances the jackass penguin is now an endangered species. Boundary Bay Brewery’s Jackass Penguin is an IPA with a beautiful balance of local malts and exotic hops. The Bellingham brewery uses 100 percent local Skagit Valley Malt, including the UK origin barley, “Pilot,” which adds some “across the pond’ characteristics, and limited South African experimental hops from ZA Hops and Calypso. The result is a Jackass with pungent melon, mild stonefruit, crisp pear and soft floral undertones. “

Fremont-Head-Full-of-Dynamite-TacomaFremont Head Full of Dynamite: Citra and Amarillo

6.2% ABV, 60 IBU

Fremont Brewing’s Head Full of Dynamite falls into the camp of “hazy” IPAs. A hefty dose of Skagit Valley malts, flaked wheat and oats added to the grist combines with an assertive Citra and Amarillo hop bill for a take on the IPA style that’s been growing in popularity on the west coast. This Head is full of citrus hoppy goodness. The taste finishes with some bitterness, enough to let you know it really is an IPA. Peaks and Pints wouldn’t call this a “juice bomb,” although it’s a well-balance fruity, hoppy delicious IPA with a smooth mouthfeel.

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