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Mar
30

Alvinne Extra India Pale Ale

By Andy Murphy
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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.

alvinne_labelThe taste is unlike any IPA I’ve ever had. The banana and peach from the yeast blend with the floral and citrusy hops, producing a Tropicana-esque beer flavor. Lots of sugar and fruit on the front; floral, tart, and sour in the middle; and lingering hops on the back and through the aftertaste. It’s a medium-bodied beer that seems to have used most of its carbonation in its genie-like enthusiasm to escape confinement.

Anyone who likes IPAs and Belgian beer should give this a try. I keep coming back to “interesting” as a description for Alvinne Extra India Pale Ale, but I mean that in a positive sense. While not an everyday beer, I’d certainly drink it again — but I’d clear away important papers before taking the lid off this gusher.

For those keeping score at home — Alvinne Extra is 7% ABV and 70 IBU.

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Categories : Beer a Day, IPA Monday

3 Comments

1

A lot of gushing lately! The hazards of obscure beers that sit around too long. Anyway, who imported this one? Might be nice to know that for some of your less well-known picks. Just a thought.

2

Tom, that’s an excellent point. The Alvinne was imported by B. United International, Inc. of Redding CT. Thanks for the info suggestion!

3

I love when the bitterness of an IPA meets the yeasty fruitiness of Belgian styles. I’d love to try this one sometime.

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