West coast ipa

So you should all know what this is all about by now.  I brewed a Terrapin Beer Co. Rye Pale Ale clone for Big Brew Day 2010.  Big Brew Day is always the first Saturday of the month of May.  Since then, my palette has me wanting an India Pale Ale.  IPAs are full of flavor, and hops.  Hops, a beer lovers best friend.  ABV is a beer lovers mistress.  You go out looking to have a good time with hops, yet come home after a wild night with ABV.  That dirty whore ABV!

So to figure out which IPA flavor I’d like to try, I’m going to try a few.  Plus do some research while at it.  Do west coast and east coast IPAs taste the same?  Are Colorado IPAs superior in IBUs, which is International Bitter Units.

Well, let’s get to round one:  West coast bracket.  Lagunitas IPA vs Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Lagunitas IPA – This is a first timer for me.  The first Lagunitas brew I had was the WTF.  Wilco Tango Foxtrot Ale, which was superb.  The IPA is by far a session beer.  The six pack didn’t hang around long.  It might have been gone the first night.  Or there may have been a single left the next day.  So obviously if I could handle 5 or 6, the abv was moderate.  This was no six or seven percent abv beer.  Not that that is a bad thing, it’s quite good actually.  Some brewers try to offset the bitterness of an IPA with a hidden alcohol bite.  Not here, and glad of it.  Beercloud iPhone app has it at 5.7%.  SRM is around a 9 to my colorblind eyes, maybe a touch lighter, and nice clarity.  I’m missing one thing with this great craft beer, the bitterness.  I looked and looked for the IBU in this beer, but couldn’t find it.  I enjoyed it so much I found a Can You Brew It podcast on cloning it.  They have it at 46 IBU, this was from the brewer at Lagunitas.  That’s just more than the BJCP range for a pale ale.  If you are trying to get your friends to try an IPA, this is the beer for it.  A great all around IPA.

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA – Also a first time for me.  I might have had the Pale Ale maybe once or twice before this.  This brew poured with a lustful full head.  Nice frothy off white head, with nice lacing.  Hops are there, at 65 IBU according to their website.  ABV is around 7.2%, so not sessionable to me.  SRM is slightly darker, which is what you expect from an IPA.  Nice flavor and nice aroma all around.  The major reason it’s not a session beer.  Wow will it fill you up.  Sierra Nevada from time to time is known as a calorie monger.  If you worry about counting calories, good beer isn’t for you.  I’m not counting, but I wanted to skip breakfast the next morning after a few of these one night.

So who wins head to hops?

Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA

Torpedo IPA

Torpedo kills.  For the shear account of the hops.  The Lagunitas is a great beer.  I’ll absolutely buy it again.  I may even brew it.  I do have the recipe now, straight from the brewer.  However, India Pale Ales were created for the hops to preserve them.  So I like the Torpedo with 65 IBUs.

As I finish this I’m still sipping on round 2 brews.  Next round is from the Rocky Mountains, with two Colorado beers going head to hops.


Posted on May 27, 2010, in craftbeer. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Torpedo may win the whole thing. Solid and affordable def in my top five ipa

  2. I’ll have to try a Torpedo this week. My first Sierra Nevada was a Kellerweis Hefeweizen, and I loved it. Every other Sierra Nevada I’ve had since that was only OK in my opinion. You’ve convinced me to give it another shot, though.

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