Is it Big or Little?

The Little Thing series from Sierra Nevada is getting a big brother as their new Imperial IPA comes aboard. It is “a 9% ABV, smooth malt body and mega-tropical hops, yet its sweetness is discreet and the finish is clean.”

The brewery adds, “To make it happen, we max out the mash and dry-hop a lot. And dry-hopping during active fermentation sparks biotransformation: yeast cells alter the chemical compounds in hops to unlock entirely new aromas—like the notes of mango, grapefruit, and tangerine billowing from Big Little Thing.”

Peony not Puny

A big Imperial IPA from Stone is not unusual but this also has peony white tea added to Citra and Loral hops. Now at 8%, I hope the gentle notes of the tea will still show through and if that hop combo accentuates the tea.


I usually don’t talk a lot about Avery Brewing on this blog. They have kept up with innovating and the above caught my eye due to the addition of pears. I have had a couple of pear beers this year that have been fantastic and maybe we are rounding into an increase of Bosc and Comice. It will be fun to see if the combo of Imperial IPA and two fruits will meld together.

More Sierra Haze

Seeing the success of Hazy Little Thing, the hop masters of the bi-coastal Sierra Nevada have created a bigger brother for the brand in the same 12oz container. I would have thought that a little brother might have been a better choice considering the marketplace but I as a beer geek will be seeking this one out.

Fortify with Fortem

Back a few posts, I briefly mentioned a new series from Firestone Walker with the name of Leo v. Ursus. Lion v Bear. Now the information on the first release in what is being called a Chronology is upon us.

Fortem is an unfiltered imperial IPA.

Here is the press release info on the beer: “The intent of Fortem is to achieve power through balance, delivering amped-up aromas and mouthfeel while keeping bitterness on a leash. It blends newer hop varieties from the Pacific Northwest and Hallertau, Germany along with pale malt, wheat malt and flaked oats for a full body and a rounded texture.”

Future installments will probably be hoppy, might even come from fan “wish lists” but should have “unifying threads”. So, don’t expect a low alcohol Belgian single.

Hop Atari

This looks like it is marketed towards us older folk who remember when games were Pong and Galaxia..

New Holland Hoptronix took an experimental beer that was well received, and made it year-round in 2017. This 9% Imperial IPA is brewed with Mosaic hops.

Keep Talking

I might have named it Palate Fatigue but Blah, Blah, Blah also gets the point across about the ubiquity of IPA’s on the market as well. And since the trend seems to have long, long legs, it makes sense that 21st Amendment would call their new (variety pack only) Imperial IPA that. I also like that they are poking at the IBU and Wetness measurements on the can as well.

All kidding aside, Blah, Blah, Blah features malts that 21A has not used before, plus late additions of Mosaic, Citra, and Idaho 7 hops.

Adding Anything Else?

I will be talking about this particular IPA trend at the start of January but Dogfish Head beat me to the punch with Romantic Chemistry, their new spring seasonal.

Somewhat similar to the 61 grape must IPA this new Romantic IPA will mix up mangoes, ginger, and apricots. They really like apricots, I guess what with Aprihop around. Will the flavors balance, that is a good question.

Review – Odyssey from Sly Fox

90 IBUs!

According to the back of the can, Sly Fox has made “well over” 40 pales and IPAs using different hop combinations and varietals and Odyssey is the capstone to that project. An 8.4% ABV Imperial IPA.

It pours a dark orange color with fast swirling bubbles that quickly recede along with the head. I get a strong dried orange smell alongside some dankness.

It does taste Imperial. The slightly metallic bitterness is sharp at first then really sticks to the roof of the mouth. And it stays there. There is a touch of spice (maybe pepper) in the mix but that dried fruit aroma is mirrored in the taste too. Along with a tiny hint of lemon.

This is certainly one of the happier East Coast IPAs that I have encountered.