East v. West. v. North v. South

There used to be arguments about what made an West Coast IPA and how East Coast IPA differed. Then breweries in the east started making West Coast IPAs and brewers in the west made – well, mostly they made West Coast IPAs. But more specific regional specialties have emerged. There are arguably three types of West Coast IPA.

In the Northwest, brewers make a juicier, sweeter IPA. They are usually darker in color, with more specialty malt and a fruitier hop flavor. Deschutes Red Chair and Fresh Squeezed for example.

In Southern California, you’ll find a drier, more bitter IPA. Paler in color, drier, and more like orange rind than orange juice. Look toward San Diego and Stone for instance.

In Northern California, things are a little different. The body is more in the middle, but the hops taste greener and – dare I say it? – more dank. There is a cannabinoid thing going on up there. The guys at Lagunitas have definitely smoked a few joints in their day.

Maximus IPA has a floral thing going on. The flavor is sticky and resinous. It’s green in the middle and bitter in the finish. I even get something smokey going on, but that could be the neighbors.


My review of Green Flash’s West Coast IPA.  This one is dedicated to Ben Affleck.  Keep calm, drink a beer, and act the crap out of Batman!

Union Jack IPA / Firestone Walker (California, USA)

Fresh-Squeezed IPA by Deschutes Brewery

I’ve been looking forward to drinking this beer. It’s by Bend, OR-based Deschutes and they’re one of the best of the Pacific Northwest hop-centric brewers. Yes, the beer is good but for some reason I was expecting more. It pours a dark amber. The hop bitterness is mid-level and the hop flavor is on the citrus side, a mix of orange and grapefruit peel. There is that nice resinous character too that adding a ton of hops to beer causes. Fresh-Squeezed IPA is a good but standard IPA. There’s really nothing that sets it apart from the pack. That’s fine but I got it into my head that this beer was a fresh hop IPA, though it doesn’t say so on the bottle. I guess I just looked at the same and assumed. This beer certainly doesn’t have the flavor explosion and brightness that fresh hop IPAs have. But like I said, it’s a good IPA and I would expect nothing less from Deschutes. I just need to slightly adjust my thinking to enjoy it properly.

555. Green Flash Brewing – West Coast IPA

Tonight is my monthly homebrewers club meeting, and I had a half hour or so to grab some dinner beforehand. Regular readers will see that I love Flinger’s Pizza Pub for their pizza and craft beers on tap, and conveniently, it’s right down the street from Fat Jack’s, our meeting place. Since I was on my own, I had their tomato basil rolls – which were excellent – and this beer.

Location: On tap and served in a regular pint glass at Flinger’s Pizza Pub in Bloomington, IL.

Numbers: 7.3% ABV, 95 IBUs, 220 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark amber-copper colored and very clear with a thin, creamy head on it, which left some lacing on the glass. It had an obvious citrusy hop aroma with hints of grassiness.

Taste & Feel: The body was medium and the mouthfeel was fairly smooth with a bit of crispness. There was a toasty… (More on Green Flash Brewing – West Coast IPA)

Craft Beer Candles

There’s something infinitely satisfying about the nose of a quality beer. Something about the aroma and bouquet of malt and hops that improves the mood, which is why we created our own line of candles based on three of our favorite beer options. The Coffee Stout Candle smells of coffee and chocolate. The West Coast IPA Candle has floral and pine notes. The Juicy Pale Ale Candle delivers with citrus and malt scents. Each candle is hand poured in New Jersey with 12oz of Soy Wax in a beer-can style glass that can be used for brews after the 60 hour burn time and some cleaning.


The Hero We Deserve

Defender IPA from brooklynbrewery, the official beer of New York Comic Con, is going to be available across the country this year. It is described by the brewery as a “bright, juicy, West Coast-style IPA” with a “reddish twist from a dash of roasted malt.”

It sounds like the production was a great melding of art and beer, with Brewmaster Garret Oliver and artist kharyrandolph waxing poetic about the commonalities between comics artists and craft brewers in the launch video. Its pretty freakin’ great to see a beer so strikingly emblazoned with such an awesome black superhero.

It hasn’t been added to Brooklyn’s beer finder as yet, so stay tuned for more details on how wide the distribution will be.