I wasn’t a big fan of the label art on the Surfin’ Bird IPA collaboration which makes a background appearance in the new IPA and doubling down on clothes wearing cartoon animals is giving me some Hanna Barbera vibes that I don’t associate with bitter beers.
Followers of this Blog will know of my ambivalence to Best of… Lists. I even cast a skeptical eye at GABF medals because there is just no way of truly knowing what the “best” is, it is merely a snapshot of a small slice of “best” to me.
That being said, this year let me conduct a different way of choosing a best. It will be a year long experiment. It will be for two types of IPAs, Hazy and West Coast. I pick those two because I will more than likely drink more of them than any other style and they will be widely available as we move (hopefully) out of lockdown. It will not be exhaustive. More California with a smattering of Oregon, Washington and other states. It will be subjective. Very subjective.
Updates will arrive each month with a top three leaderboard as well as list of all the IPAs tasted so you can follow along.
Tucked inside the 12 Days of IPAs variety box from Stone Brewing was the new Features+Benefits “healthy IPA”, so today, let’s taste that vs their Gluten-reduced IPA, Delicious and see which comes out on top…
Delicious– nice fruit aroma and taste. Fruit punch comes to mind. Very crisp and bitey. Some pine in here as well.
F+B – Super light and bright yellow. Pretty watery. Has a big cat pee aroma to it. Has quite a bit of bitterness. Lemon notes as well.
This is a no brainer to me. Delicious wins by a country mile. It maybe gluten reduced but it tastes like a full bodied session IPA.
Joining Hopernicus In the sky of hops is a new Beachwood IPA, Hoperbolic. It may not be a Christmas themed beer but I think many a hop fan w ould like a 4-pack underneath the Christmas tree.
12 days of any style of beer is better than the Yuletide song. Even better is a style master like Stone giving a gift of hops in upside down mode. Just the right size for a post present party.
El Segundo has found a winning design template for their latest Tone Series IPAs. I really liked the green of the softball field on a previous can, and now we are treated to the expanse of sand along with a solitary tower and transport. Many are working with new views from home but this one is a great workplace.
Oh, and the beer inside is…
Style: West Coast IPA (obviously)
Hops- LORAL / Centennial / Idaho 7
Time to have a hoppy but distanced Turkey Day with….
Distanced Hop Luck – “This modern West Coast IPA features loads of Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo, and Centennial hops. Clocking in at 45 IBU, Distanced Hopluck is bright with intense aromatics, and refreshing on the palate with light bitterness. Pair with your Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving celebrations!”
Friendsgiving – “We’re making Friendsgiving virtual this year! This hazy double IPA features Galaxy, Mosaic, Motueka, and Cashmere hops resulting in a juicy concoction bursting with intense tropical fruit flavors and a hint of dankness. Pair with a Distanced Hopluck or your potluck!”
Happy birthday to 21st Amendment who are breaking out the hop piñata for a West Coast IPA to mark the occasion. Not in 21oz cans though, 12 ounce instead.