August the 4th is the first international IPA day. So to honour the day, I’ve decided to review 5 IPAs throughout the week. You can learn about the day here:
To get you up to speed on a little history and one brewer’s love for IPAs, here is a link to a blog by Kelly from Epic. It’s a great read, so check it out. – http://beerevolution.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/ipa-its-worthy-of-having-its-own-international-day-it-truly-is-really/
Personally, I love IPAs. They have taken over the beer world. I suspect it is because the new American style of IPA that has driven the craft beer revolution is really hop driven and flavoursome. Almost an antidote to nearly a century of mass produced, pale, bland beers that have dominated the world beer market. They aren’t Heineken, they aren’t Carlton Draught, and to you Kiwis out there, Tui is definitely not an IPA.
A good modern IPA is hoppy, it’s strong, it’s bitter and it’s sweet. I know a lot of traditionalists dislike this trend and focus on hops. I am not one of those people. I love the smell of hops, I love IPAs. If I go out for a few drinks and don’t get a bit hit of hops in at least one glass I feel a little let down. I feel like my night is incomplete. There aren’t any other beer styles I can say that about.
This is an IPA from Bridge Road Brewers in Beechworth. I’m a big fan of their beers. I really like their Saison and the Smokey Breakfast Lager is one of my favourite beers to come out this year.
It’s 5.8% and came in a 335ml bottle. You can buy a case from their website for $85. About $3.50 a bottle.
I’m not a huge fan of Bridge Road’s labels. They are a little shiny, although this is a Bling IPA so I guess it is appropriate. They also have the benefit of being easy to spot in a bar fridge when you have had one too many on a Friday night.
In the glass it pours a cloudy reddish brown with a slightly off white head. It’s darker than I expected it to be. Definitely at the darker end of the IPA style.
How does it smell/taste?
Being called “Bling”, I expected a big hit of American style citrus IPA aroma, so I was slightly surprised that it didn’t have a huge hop aroma. Hops are definitely there but they are not as dominant as I expected. It smells like the brewery has gone for malt and hop balance rather than just hops.
It’s very creamy. Taste wise it the hops and malt come through just as was suggested, and there is a slight alcohol kick at the end. It starts off sweet and creamy and ends up a little bitter and dry. There are some raisins and currants in the slightly alcoholic aftertaste. It tastes more to the English style of IPA than the American. Really not what I expected, but it is a very enjoyable beer.
When should I drink it?
This would go great as a pre-winters meal drink. The creamy nature of this one lends itself to just enjoying the beer alone. It isn’t too high in alcohol so would lend itself to an early dinner party session beer. Tasty and interesting enough to keep everyone happy.
Definitely not what I expected, but to be honest, it was a really nice surprise. I could definitely see myself going back for more of these and it’s another one of the Bridge Road beers that has won me over right away. There is a nice balance of ‘new world’ and ‘old world’ flavours in most of their beers and this is no different.
Stay tuned for four more IPA reviews over the coming days. Tweet about it as well – #IPAday