To the hills for IPA
After Sierra Nevada Torpedo beats out Lagunitad IPA in the west coast, we head to the mountains of Colorado for round two. Colorado, known as the craft beer meca of the Us. Represents both of the India Pale Ales in our next challenge bracket. Breckenridge Lucky U IPA vs. New Belgium Ranger IPA.
Breckenridge Lucky U IPA – Pours a nice medium hue, which is not clear. Which is common amongst IPAs due to their level of hops. At 68 IBU, there’s a good amount of hops in there too. Alcohol by volume is listed at 6.2%, nice. Great aroma and a nice head, with great glass lacing. Once saw a Tweet that said if you don’t have lacing, clean your glass. I recommend that to every taster, tester and homebrewer alike. There is however a slight off taste to my palette. Not sure if it’s actually some speciality grain, or an old batch from Village Wine & Spirits. (I have to give props to my LOCAL craft beer store. As much as I love 5 Pts Bottle Shop, Village is 3 miles away. So when I want to grab a bomber or a 6’er on the way home, there my choice.). A solid, damn solid IPA, or IPPA. Whoever you like to pronounce it.
New Belgium Ranger IPA – To start, I am for no reason a big New Belgium fan. When it arrived in Athens last summer, I tried Fat Tire. I haven’t had another since that first six pack. My friends from CO, all three of them, all boast New Belgium. So when I saw Ranger next to Breckinridge, I saw round two. Ranger has amazing hops. Hop aroma, hop bitterness and hop taste. Without looking at the press sheet, there’s Cascade in there. IBU is listed as 70, very nice bite, kick, what have you, wow. Clarity is near perfect, odd in IPAs. But I’m not complaining. Alcohol is 6.5% ABV. Not uncommon in an India Pale Ale. Brewers will use the bitterness of hops to offset the sweetness of malts to obtain the ABV.
Before I say who wins round 2, I must say I have a biased opinion. I loathe over Breck Brew’s Vanilla Porter in the slightly cold Georgia winters. I’m not a Fat Tire fan. Yet, round two goes to Ranger IPA. Damn what an India Pale Ale! Being a homebrewer, you appreciate a clear beer. If it was a diamond ring, it would be in the colorless group of diamonds. So maybe it’s best to say Ranger IPA is a diamond in the Rocky’s?
Round three we hit up the Lakes Region. Most people have a clear winner. I see an enjoyable tasting. What was your vote for round two? Did I miss it? Comment below.