leapbeer

Mission : Leap Beer, 366 Beers in 366 Days

The Leapbeer Tasting – A Trip to India Pale Ale

So last night I had a couple of good friends (one superfriend harkening back to our old hockey pool) and I decided to give them a journey through what I’d found out about IPA’s

Before I get to the beers I did a bit of research into “what makes an India Pale Ale or IPA? And Why India?”

So the next bit is a bit of site regurgitation, so I apologize for that. According to wikipedia the first written reference of “India Pale Ale” dates back to 1835 which referred to a style of beer previously called “pale ale as prepared for India”, “pale India ale” or “pale export India ale”. About.com said that the brewing style was originally developed by the British in the 1700s to prevent spoilage when shipping their beer to troops stationed in India. The generous amout of hops in the brew protected it from the heat and motion of the sailing ships of the day.

The hops bring the bitter, but it is the variants of hops that can bring the citrus twang that comes through in some of the beers.

The beers I chose for Dallas and Jeff were Wells IPA, Hoperation TripelCross by Phillips, Devils Elbow IPA by Howe Sound Brewery, Imperial IPA by GIB and Fat Tug by Driftwood.

Jeff is a hops veteran, but this was Dallas’ first trip down to hoppy town. I probably could’ve started with an even milder IPA, something like an Alexander Keiths, but I felt that a British beer would make more sense. All of us enjoyed a glass and shared our comments (when the hockey game wasn’t on of course) Everyone shared the sentiment that this is a refreshing beer. It has a mild hoppyness to it, but it is still an easily drank beer.

Next I decided to go with the Hoperation TripelCross by Phillips. One sip and you snap to attention. No wonder the Brits sent this to their troops. This beer definitely gave Dallas a moment to pause. If I recall, his first response was “Wow that’s bitter”

We moved onto Devil’s Elbow IPA by Howe Sound Brewery. At this point our bitter beer beginner was showing signs of tapping out. Little did he know what was to come. This officially is beer #68 on the leapbeer journey, but I’m going to post a review of it later.

I realize this next move went contrary to the trend, but I decided that we would go to the Imperial IPA by GIB after that. As you may remember from my review this bad boy weighs in at 100 IBU’s or bitterness units. The highest of our tasting plan. The Dally man could only take a mouthful or two of this delicious brew.

Lastly we moved on to my current beer crush, Fat Tug by Driftwood. I insisted that the Dallas man give this a pull. My love for this beer is well documented at this point. Jeff is an honorary tugnut too. While we were consuming this it made me realize something new. Most beers taste like beer. I know this is an over simplification, but they all have a basic beer taste. Of course there are variants, probably more than any one person can count. Some are sweet or nutty, others are bitter, even others are unfiltered. And it goes on and on. Regardless of all that, they still taste like beer. What amazes me about fat tug is how much more than a beer this brew is. It is truly remarkable. In my opinion it is head and shoulders above the rest of these beers. It is a flavor journey waiting to happen. Even our bitter newb had to appreciate it.

If you haven’t had a fat tug yet, please do so at your soonest convenience. It may seem like I am being paid by Driftwood to promote their brews, but I’m not. This is just a wonderful discovery of mine while on my leapbeer journey.

Yes I realize I go on and on about one beer. I’m seriously considering putting a moratorium on tug comments in future posts. And yes I realize that there are many many many more IPA’s out there that we could have tried. My question to my readers is whats your favorite IPA? leave a comment or tweet me @heavycf

I hope you enjoyed reading this. I absolutely enjoyed researching and writing it. Life is too short to drink bad beer.

PS I recently hired da def as my senior VP of offsite leapbeer acquisitions out of Victoria, so hopefully I’ll be getting more of the limited run beers as they become available.

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2 thoughts on “The Leapbeer Tasting – A Trip to India Pale Ale

  1. Not so sorry I missed the ‘Sock Hop’ you hosted up in Campbell River as I have to admit, I am VERY selective with the hoppy beers that I like. The bitterness tends to make me make an involuntary sour-face. But if I were in the heat of India with few foamy brews in sight…. I tend towards the rich dark soothingly sweet malty brews in the colder months (hence the college love affair with the Czech Baron).

    However, there are a couple that I really do enjoy. Number one with a lightenning bolt is the Driftwood Sartori Harvest IPA. The very first time I tasted it was a hot day in the summer and it smelled like fresh cut hops and roses. Delightful. With none of the twanginess that I usually get from the IPA family. Fat Tug is another hopper that I do like, against the odds. This one I tried almost out of protest as my local beer-guide had nothing else left in the fridge. I was slurprised and will choose it over many others in the future. Cheers Driftwood!

    I have to admit that I am flattered with my new title in this Leapbeer adventure with my little brother. A sister’s gotta help out where she can. I have lots of help from my Beer Guide, ‘Weasel’. Who knows the process to making these fine brews intimately. HE is a true ‘Hop Head’ and over the past year has purchased many a ‘Hop Box’ from Phillips of which I scooped the Skookums. Which takes us full circle back to it’s distant cousin, the Baron.

    Anyhoo, I look forward to my upcoming homework and happy to help out where I can. Next week, I am off to the ‘Big Smoke’ of Vancouver and will do my best to debut something special. There is a little shop on Seymour called Viti that is like the pot of unusual golden brews at the end of the rainbow. I never miss when I am in town. It’s in the Moda Hotel at 900 Seymour. The crew are always helpful in sending me home with something new and exciting. Til then…. da Def out.

  2. Pingback: Leapbeer Reviews Pyramid Thunderbird vs Outburst – The IPA vs IIPA debate « leapbeer

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