Hello and welcome to another round of beer reviews!
Now I know you have seen IPA’s reviewed before on this site, but there are just so many of them!! There is quite a bit of variety in this type of beer as well and it’s also the trendiest type of beer to drink in the PNW. In other words, there are a lot listed in my big book-o-beer, so deal with it.
For those who don’t know what an IPA is, well IPA stands for India Pale Ale. Now how did India get involved in all of this beer stuff, they are not a main player in the brew industry? That’s true, but as you can guess, England is behind all of this. The East India Trade Company traders enjoyed a very hoppy type of beer, so England made these brews, shipped them to these traders, and the rest is history. OK, it is a more complex story than that, but that’s the gist of it.
Regardless, IPA’s has evolved into the hipster’s choice of beer, especially in the PNW. They are super bitter, hyper-hoppy, and tend to be on the strong side of the ABV bell curve.
So let’s look at another set of 5 IPAs:
1. Ninkasi - Total Domination IPA
6.7% ABV 81 IBU
Ah Ninkasi, you typically do good work. But most breweries from Oregon tend to do a good job (even ones from Eugene). With a name like Total Domination, I would expect this thing to, well, dominate my taste buds. But it felt more like standard fare. Yes, it was citrusy and super bitter (81 IBU is a high level), but I didn’t feel it was dominating anything. And 6.7 ABV%? That doesn’t dominate anyone; that’s like winning a 7 game series 4-3. But beyond the misnaming of this IPA, it is pretty good. But is pretty good enough to go out of your way and buy it? Probably not. Side note: The Tricerahops Double IPA is way better.
2. 7 Seas - Rude Parrot IPA
5.9% ABV 75 IBU
7 Seas boasting being voted the best brewery in the South Sound for 6 years, yet their presence in Seattle is not strong. There is a lot of competition here, but it is also a by-product of having very average beer. Rude Parrot, is really not that rude. It is not aggressively bitter or potent (5.9%, booo), so there is nothing about it that makes me gravitate to that over another IPA. Although it is clean, in fact it is very clean. So clean that one may mistake it for a hoppy Pale. But that isn’t what an IPA should be. It should be bolder and stronger, like a rude parrot. Not like this not-as-rude-as-it-should-be parrot.
3. Holy Mountain - Five of Swords IPA
6.0% ABV 60 IBU
A tame IPA from our friends from Holy Mountain (which is down the street from my old place). It has a very low IBU for an IPA, so it is a bit different than the typical PNW IPA. It does have that citrusy taste (I guess as of these do) and goes down easy. But it is SOOOO AVERAGE!!! Again, this is more like a hoppy Pale than an IPA. It is good taste, but this is more for the person who doesn’t like IPAs yet has to have one. Why does that person need to be satisfied?
4. Melvin - Melvin IPA
7.5% ABV 80 IBU
Out of Jackson Wyoming, Melvin does some interesting stuff. They are not shy about trying some different and cool things with their beer. Apparently not so much with the name of their major IPA, simply called ‘Melvin IPA’. This beer is BItter, with a capital BI. But don’t you worry, the bitterness does not dominate the entire experience. There are other flavors that come through; citrus (duh), pine, resin, and a bit of caramel. Also 7.5% is not a bad ABV…..finally. This is a very good beer, especially for such a boring named beer. But what’s in a name, right?
5. Stoup - T2R Haymaker Triple IPA
10.5% ABV 90 IBU
Now we are talking!!! 10.5% ABV? 90 IBU? TRIPLE IPA? This should be an even for your mouth. Stoup makes a good beer as well (out of Seattle by the way) so here we go…
Wow, is this thing strong or what? I can barely finish this post. I love a good kick in the as at times, but this one may go too far. It only gets served in 12 oz, and for the high price tag that may be disappointing. But honestly unless you are a superfan of IIIPA’s, you would not want more than 12 oz. This is a sipping on beer, not a ‘glug…glug…glug’ beer. It is what you start the night with, a good buzz early. But much like gremlins, no don’t feed yourself this after midnight.