By Iron Chef Leftovers
Driftwood Brewing is a long time brewer out of Victoria, BC, who started distributing their beers to the US a few years ago. They make some pretty nice, albeit expensive stuff in a small but diverse lineup. Fat Tug IPA is their required entry into the crowded Northwest IPA market. It clocks in at 7% ABV and 80 IBU and is available in 22 oz. bottles for about $9.
From the brewery’s website:
Brewed with the hop aficionado in mind!
Fat Tug is a northwest style India Pale Ale with an intense hop profile with notes of grapefruit, mango melon and passion fruit. Sufficient malt is there to provide support. At 7 % alc/vol and 80+ IBUs this beer delivers on the promise to satisfy anyone with a thirst for all things hoppy!
Fat Tug is an orange IPA with a lovely cream head. You won’t mistake this for another type of beer as you a hit with a wall of hops when you get within about a foot of it. Upon closer inspection, there are strong notes of grapefruit and citrus, a delicate, slightly floral aroma hanging in the background, and even then, it is barely noticeable and slight hints of grain. The first sip hits you with lots of bitter citrus peel and green hops giving way to a more pleasant grapefruit palate that lingers for a happy minute or so. After a few sips, the bitterness becomes more muted and the beer is a very stereotypical NW IPA (and that is not a bad thing). As it warms, it is a bit more floral but it complements the rich hoppiness that is Fat Tug.
I really like this beer but there is nothing outstanding about it, especially at its price point – it is a fine entry from Driftwood, but not spectacular enough to set it apart from its competition. I don’t think that I would ever refuse this beer if someone poured it for me, but I don’t know that I would run out and buy it again as it is priced on the upper end of a crowded IPA market. I would recommend picking one up if you have never had it and decide for yourself.
Driftwood Fat Tug IPA sails into port with a respectable 3 Theodore Tugboats out of 5.