Do you know what is nice to enjoy on a warm and beautiful day in the middle of New Jersey’s bipolar weather? Yup, you guessed it, beer! Today we start our journey enjoying a specific and my favorite type of beer, India Pale Ales (IPAs). This beer definitely has an interesting and varying past.
Neshaminy Creek County Line IPA – 6.6% ABV
This IPA is created with Warrior, Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, and Centennial hops. Typically, with this type of beer, the malt is what counters the bitterness. This is definitely the case with the County Line IPA. Honestly, this beer is not as hoppy as a typical IPA and for some, this might actually be a good thing. Most casual beer drinkers don’t like IPAs for their overpowering, “bitter” taste. Overall, there is a good balance that still allows you to taste each hop and the complexity of the beer while bringing notes of pine, citrus, and grapefruit to the table.
Sly Fox Odyssey Imperial IPA- 8.4% ABV
Sly Fox has brewed over 40 varietal pale ales and IPAs. Odyssey, in particular, pays homage to the company’s experience. According to their website, “Each year, [their] brewers select their favorite and newly discovered hops to create a big, bold Imperial IPA”. This beer really gives you something to sip on. Initially, I wasn’t really feeling the after taste but like some beers, it grows on you. One benefit of this brew is the malt is on the head taking some of the bitterness out, and surprisingly so with it’s higher ABV. If you like underlying notes of honey, molasses and caramel be sure to grab this beer before winter is over because it is only available during January and February.
Southern Tier Brewing Company’s 2X IPA – 8.2% ABV
If you decide to try this one out and you happen to like it, the good news is it’s available year round. So far on the list, these IPA’s have had a solid malt backbone. Again, much like Sly Fox’s Odyssey Imperial IPA, the malt helps even out the bitterness. After your first sip you will notice a mild sweet citrus undertone and then after the refreshing liquid settles you taste a slight hoppiness. The malt definitely helps disguises the high ABV leaving an IPA fan with a smile. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the 2xIPA.
Rusty Rail Brewing Company’s Rail Spike IPA – 7.1% ABV
Sitting at 7.1 % ABV this is a very refreshing beer. Brewed with Centennial, Columbus, Simcoe, Chinook and Cascade Hops. You definitely get a warm welcome and a great taste from the individual hops. For anyone wanting to try this beer out, I’d suggest being gentle when you pour because the carbonation was very evident. Despite the gentle poor for a perfect head, Rail Spike definitely has a more crisp taste due to its carbonation. Overall this beer has the notes of citrus and flowers and is very crisp and enjoyable.
Just from the four beers I have sampled in this article, comes a vast array from the IPA family. As my handle goes, ‘a beer for every hand’, so get out there and try something new. Don’t just give an IPA one chance, try all sorts of them because they vary in drastic degrees.