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Archive for IPA Monday

Belgium, you make some damned fine beer! I hardly got beyond the Trappist ales over the past two weeks, but the good old U.S.A. is calling be back — I’m craving some strong hops, familiar names, and posts that need less explanation!

stone-cali-belgieSince today is IPA Monday, I can think of no better transition than to drink Stone Brewing Company’s Cali-Belgique IPA. Stone has added some Belgian yeast to its traditional IPA, which does two things. One, it adds some extra layers of flavor to the Stone IPA. And two, it allows me to have another Stone IPA without breaking my “no-repeats” prohibition!

Stone IPA was my inaugural brew for IPA Monday. I described it as:

. . . extremely refreshing and easy to drink. There’s a light, bread-like malt that plays a supporting role, blending carefully with complex citrus and “green” tasting hops . . . The beer has a light, distinctive, and extremely pleasant aftertaste. There’s a residue of warmth and a sweet oiliness at the back of the tongue, almost as if the beer has just melted in your mouth.

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Categories : Beer a Day, IPA Monday
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Mar
30

Alvinne Extra India Pale Ale

Posted by: Andy Murphy | Comments (3)

ipa-mondayIt’s IPA Monday, but kicking back with an India Pale Ale doesn’t mean we have to stop our virtual tour of Belgium.

I combed the shelves of my beer store and finally found an IPA made in Belgium. And it wasn’t easy to find — the stubby, 11.2 oz bottle from Picobrouwerij Alvinne has a label nearly camouflaged with hops. And if all those hops were too subtle, the label explains the beer is “EXTRA India Pale Ale Restyled”.

The Picobrouwerij Alvinne’s website provides more detail:

The Extra Restyled was first brewed in 2008, marking the first time our brewery used American hop types such as Chinook and Amarillo. It is a considerably bitter beer that tastes of citrus, pineapple, peach . . . the aftertaste is very bitter and dry and continues for a long time.

Full disclaimer, I used a web translation service and some guesses to come up with the translation above. If you speak Dutch and can help, please weigh in via the comments below!

alvinne_bottle_glassSeconds after I lifted the cap on the Alvinne Extra, foam rushed up from the bottle and began pouring down the sides. I caught as much of the sticky foam as I could in my Duvel tulip glass and carefully poured the aromatic beer. A HUGE head formed and the smell of yeast and hops filled the room. The head didn’t last very long, though — it evaporated from the inside out, turning skeletal before fading away completely.

Alvinne Extra is pale gold, very hazy, with some sediment and floating particles. The aroma is a combination of fruity Belgian yeast and citrusy hops. For moments I would recognize the aroma as an IPA, but then something would shift and the yeast would dominate the aroma. The blend is very interesting.

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Categories : Beer a Day, IPA Monday
Comments (3)
Mar
23

Long Trail Traditional IPA

Posted by: Andy Murphy | Comments (2)

ipa-mondayStarting each week with a rush of IPA hops began as a force to counterbalance the Monday doldrums, but the tradition has grown to symbolize a fresh start for each week. And after a week marked by a couple of less-than-stellar beers, IPA Monday couldn’t come quickly enough.

I was pleased to sit back and enjoy tonight’s easy-going IPA. We can all only hope the week goes by as smoothly as this IPA did.

Long Trail IPA is a complex but mild IPA in the English style. According to the Long Trail website:

Real IPA, as it was first brewed in the days of the British Empire, was not he carefully filtered brew that we call IPA today. The first IPAs were unfiltered and featured extra hops and higher strength as a preservative for the long trip from England to the colony of India. Our Traditional IPA is naturally carbonated, dry-hopped & unfiltered like the old days.

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Categories : Beer a Day, IPA Monday
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Mar
16

Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale

Posted by: Andy Murphy | Comments (1)

“Embrace your inner pyrate!”
- Clipper City Brewing Company

Clipper City Brewing Company‘s Heavy Seas beers are all big, robust beers that have been bottle conditioned. They’re all quite high in alcohol content, but at 7.25% ABV, the Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale — an American IPA — proves that strength and restraint pair very nicely.

I owe a very special thanks to reader PFern for sending me a bottle of Loose Cannon — so tonight’s IPA Monday brew is sponsored by PFern!

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Categories : Beer a Day, IPA Monday
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Mar
09

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA

Posted by: Andy Murphy | Comments (5)

racer5Bear Republic sure can brew a tasty beer.

The brewery is a family business, run by father (Richard R Norgrove), son (Richard G Norgrove) and their wives (Sandy and Tami, respectively). Richard G Norgrove is the brewmaster. He’s a full-time hop head and part-time race car driver.

You guessed it, his car is #5.

I first discovered Bear Republic when I drank their Red Rocket Ale. So when I found a bottle of Racer 5 at the liquor store, I knew I would be in for a treat. The label reads:

Racer 5 is an aggressive style India Pale Ale. Handmade from a brewery whose motto is “Bigger is Better”. This golden, well hopped, bottle-conditioned ale demands your attention.

Racer 5 has a nice, toasted caramel color. My tulip glass held the IPA with about a finger of foam and wafting, pleasant citrus hop aromas. But there’s some malt in the aroma, too, which becomes a bridge to the taste. I was expecting the hops — sticky pine and citrus — but the sweet, caramel malt was the pleasant surprise of the night.

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Categories : Beer a Day, IPA Monday
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