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randomness, truth, and burritos

Craft Beer: Boulevard Brewing Co. Single-Wide IPA

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You know, i normally give IPAs a lot of grief.  Not because its a bad beer, I have found some real winners in the IPA scene.  I have more issues with IPA being a trendy beer.  It seems like the beer novice brewers can cover up their mistakes with by adding god-awful amounts of hops to the batch.  I still stand by the fact that there is something wrong with the craft beer selection when over half of my reviews end up being IPAs because it makes up nearly fifty percent of the craft beer market.  There is such variety in craft beers, its disappointing that the majority of the beers are just overdosed with hops and labeled an IPA.

Now, with all that being said, I have been rather excited to try this IPA from Boulevard Brewing Co.  It is brewed in Kansas City, MO, and surprisingly, it is fermented a second time in the bottle, adding a bit more carbonation and head to the mix.  I am actually quite surprised they do this, as a bottle fermentation can be a bit unstable and cause the bottles to explode if exposed to extreme temperatures (re-starting fermentation and adding increased pressure to the bottle).  Perhaps Boulevard Brewing has a way to avoid this, as a novice brewer I can’t say that it’s not possible.

Pouring the glass was an exciting experience. The head remained thick and frothy through the entire poor.  I practically got impatient as it took forever to settle enough for me to empty out the rest of the bottle. The hops smell amazing.  The smell, while definitely hops, does not have the tart astringency that I’m used to finding in an IPA.  It’s almost sweet in its scent, reminding me of caramel and granny smith apples.  There is a citrus presence in the background as well that keeps the smell fresh and lively.

First tastes are equally surprising.  The flavor is also substantially milder than your typical IPA.  The presence of hops won’t let you forget this is an IPA, but it’s like a seasoning that compliments all the base flavors of the beer, as opposed to being the primary flavor itself.  The intensity of the flavoring is moderate at best, but the complexity keeps me interested.  The first flavors are crisp and cool, reminding me of watermelon rind.  As I continue to drink a body of sweetness rises up to contrast the tartness of the hops.  It makes me think of sweet grapefruit juice, or unsweetened raspberries.  The finish washes back in with a more savory flavor, making me think of italian seasonings and just a hint of lemon bite.

I think it’s a testament to the quality of this beer that I nearly finished it in the first ten minutes of writing this post.  It’s an excellent mix of flavors without being too overpowering.  I would almost consider it an all-weather beer, with perhaps the exception of the coldest months of winter.  It is one of my favorite IPAs to date, though the true disappointment comes in that it’s almost impossible to find in this area outside of my specialty beer store.  ah well.

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