Saturday, April 23, 2011

2 Pale Ales and 4 IPAs

Deschutes – Red Chair - NWPA
Red Chair (6.2% ABV and 60 IBU) is a seasonal offering from Deschutes and is described as a NW Pale Ale.  Red Chair is available January through April and it almost crossed the border into IPA territory.  Red Chair pours golden amber with a two-finger head.  Deschutes uses seven different malts with a citrus focus on the hops.  Red Chair is very well balanced and is another very good beer from Deschutes.   

Alaskan - IPA
Alaskan Brewing Co.’s IPA (6.2% ABV and 55 IBU) pours gold with a small head that quickly recedes.  If you compare the ABV and bitterness with the beer above, you can become confused in the difference between an IPA and a Pale Ale.  IPAs are typically higher in ABV and IBU than Pale Ales and I think Deschutes used the NW Pale Ale designation to categorize the beer between the Deschutes Pale Ale and the IPA.  Alaskan IPA is another well-balanced beer between malt sweetness and hop bitterness with a citrus focus.

Boulder – Mojo and Hazed & Infused
Boulder Beer Co. produces a number of styles and Mojo (7.2% ABV) is their IPA.  Mojo pours golden amber with a vigorous head – I had to pour it a few times to allow the head to recede.  Mojo leans towards bitterness over malt sweetness and Amarillo hops are used in the brewing of this beer.  I could not find information on the actually IBU of this beer. 
Hazed & Infused (4.85% ABV) is a dry-hopped ale that is very popular and is an award winner.  Hazed & Infused pours cloudy amber tan with a small head.  This is cloudy because it is an unfiltered beer.  There are 4 different hop varieties used in the brewing process and 2 are used in the dry-hopping (fermentation addition) phase.  I was expecting more bitterness and was somewhat surprised with the malt forward taste that had a well-balanced finish.  Hazed & Infused is very drinkable and I can see why it is so popular.

Upslope – IPA
Upslope is a new Colorado brewer based in Boulder and they currently offer 3 different styles in cans.  I had sample two at the Winter Brewfest and picked up a can of their IPA (7.2% ABV) last week.  One complaint is their website – there is very little information about the beer or the brewery.  Upslope’s IPA pours amber with a tan two-finger head that quickly recedes.  This IPA is not bad; however, there are others that are much better.  Upslope also brews a pale ale and a brown ale.  The pale ale has received positive notes and it will be interesting to compare it with Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale.  

Anderson Valley – Hop Ottin’
Anderson Valley is a California brewer and they brew a number of different styles.  Hop Ottin’ (7% ABV and  80 IBU)  is an IPA that pours golden amber with a nice head – it took a few pour / recedes before I could empty the glass – just look at the picture.  Very good use of aroma hops for a citrus bouquet.  This is a nice IPA with a focus on citrus hops and a lot of them.  If you are a hop-head, I think you will like it.  I look forward to sampling more from Anderson Valley.

It does amaze me at the variety of color, aroma, and tastes of beers of similar style.  The varieties of malt and hops and the varieties of way they are combined make an almost infinite number of possibilities.  Some you will like better than others.  I tasted these over the course of a week and it is great to be able to purchase mixed 6 packs to sample a number of different beers from different brewers.

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