Thursday, August 21, 2008

21st Amendment Brewery: 21st Amendment IPA

Goodbye to San Francisco for now. On my way out I had to pick up a souvenir. So naturally I went with a local brew. I snagged a sixpack from 21st Amendment Brewery.

I've only had one of 21st Amendment's beers prior and I wasn't planning on buying any of their selection when I got to the store, but this brewery caught my attention with some clever marketing; so I couldn't resist.

Believe it or not, 21st Amendment released their IPA in a beer can. I've drank a lot of beer in my day but I rarely see anything besides an American macro lager in a can. Of course you'll find a selection of foreign brew such as Guinness, New Castle, Boddingtons, Pilsner Urquell in cans all the time; but to see an American India Pale Ale in a can was rather interesting. The packaging spiked my interest.

I basically purchased the sixpack as a taste test to see if an IPA would hold up in a can. Most beer drinkers have experienced the effect of popping open a canned beer and noticing the metal aftertaste after every sip. Surprisingly the aluminum was not present in this IPA. The hop flavors probably masks any metal flavor.

As for the specific taste, this IPA is a little weak. It's not incredibly hoppy and the strong hop flavors are only in the initial sip and the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a touch watery but there is a nice smooth dark malt flavor as well. Not the strongest IPA, but it holds up nicely in a can. A cool novelty beer as well. Especially with big bold lettering of "Brew Free or Die" written everywhere across the can. I definitely agree. Cheers.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Harpoon Brewery: IPA

Just got back from my annual vacation out east. Of course while on holiday, I have to relax. And what great way to relax than to enjoy a few drinks.

Since I don't spend more than a week in Massachusetts every year, I always try to sample some beers I've never tried. All the way out in California it can be difficult to get your hands on and taste the selection from the other coast.

This summer I drank a bunch of Harpoon ales. Brewed in Boston, Mass Harpoon can be found in most shops and liquor stores. I found myself reaching for Harpoon's IPA. Always hot, humid, and buggy out on Cape Cod its nice to have a cold and refreshing brew.

Now normally I wouldn't call any IPA refreshing. Most are so bitter and hoppy that they are closer to a meal than a drink. But Harpoon's IPA is still satisfying on a muggy day if served cold. While it has the head and hoppy smell of most hearty India Pale Ales, the mouthfeel and taste was quite light and even a touch citrusy for an IPA.

If you want an ale that has plenty of taste and will also help you stay cool I would recommend Harpoon's IPA. If you pour it in a double lined glass to prevent sweating it can be a great summer brew. If you don't believe me, try it for yourself. Cheers.