Beer of the Week: NW Peaks Single Hop IPA with Crystal

By Iron Chef Leftovers

untitle8dKeeping with a theme of single hop IPA’s, NW Peaks released one also recently, this one done with Crystal hops. It was a new beer for the crew down at NW Peaks and an IPA, so it was definitely on my must try list.

The beer pours hazy pale yellow in color with notes of lemon and lemon peel and touches of grain and grassy hops. The beer starts off with a strong grain profile with just a touch of sweetness before quickly moving into a mild bitterness showing hints of lemon peel. The beer finishes long with notes of lemon juice (without the acidity) and a pleasant bitterness with just a touch of astringency (surprising but not unpleasant) and hints of grassy notes giving the beer a bit of a bite. The beer drinks fine and is a nice use of Crystal hops, but it lacked a great depth of flavor that you would normally expect from an IPA and it seemed just a bit unbalanced.

NW Peaks Single Hop IPA with Crystal goes into the china shop like a bull with 2 horns out of 5.

Beer of the Week: Stoup Brewing Citra IPA

By Iron Chef Leftovers

I am back to bouncing all over my beer notes because every once in a while, I have a beer that is on tap at a local brewery and worth seeking out. I love IPA’s and I love single hop IPA’s even more because they really showcase the hop and its flavor profile. Stoup Brewing has a Citra IPA currently on tap that comes in at a reasonable 50 IBU and 5.9% ABV. Since I really do enjoy Citra hops, this one was a must-try.

From the Stoup website:

We like to call this one Sunshine In a Glass … or Sunshine In Your Belly because it won’t stay in that glass long.  Our Citra® IPA is designed to be light and bright in both color and body.  Your first sniff will elicit images of tropical fruit and citrus thanks to a healthy dose of Citra® hops.  Enjoy a pint of this and you might just find yourself gazing skyward, pondering how in the heck sunshine made its way into your glass.

untitlasedThe beer pours hazy golden in color with tinges of orange and a creamy white head. There are significant amounts of orange and orange peel on the nose with light touches of orange juice showing through. The beer starts out with a mild orange juice sweetness coupled with touches of grain before more pronounced IPA character builds in. First, you get hints of piney resin, then burnt orange peel with a bitterness that is mild and pleasant that carries through the finish of the beer without overpowering it. There is more fresh fruit on the finish, combining with the orange peel and pine notes, causing the beer to finish nicely and tricked my mind into looking for orange pulp at the bottom of the glass. This beer is easy to drink with a nice balance and complexity, showing layered flavors and showcasing Citra hops wonderfully.

Stoup Brewing’s Citra IPA goes down to the groves and picks the best 4 oranges out of 5.

Beer of the Week: Laughing Dog Pure Breed Citra American Pale Ale

By Iron Chef Leftovers

I really like the concept of a single hop beer. The great thing about them is that you really get to understand where certain hop flavors come from in the beers which use a combination of hops. When I found out that Laughing Dog Brewing out of Idaho was doing a single hop beer, well, I had to try it. I consider Laughing Dog one of the more underrated breweries in the US and I think they do particularly well with hops. The Pure Breed Citra American Pale Ale, their first entry into the single hop realm, came to me in a 22oz. bottle which ran about $5.

The description from the Laughing Dog website:

The first in our Purebred series of single hop A.P.A.s showcases the hop variety Citra. These are used for everything from bittering and flavor to aroma. The soft bitterness of the Citra hop makes this an extremely drinkable beer.
ABV 6.14%, IBU 67.8

purebredGolden yellow in color and lots of carbonation on a slightly off white head. Strong notes of citrus dance around the nose with just a hint of grain lying in wait in the background. The first sip slaps you in the face – a very brief and pleasant bitterness quickly yield to a hop monster – lots of grapefruit and citrus peel, which lingers for a good few seconds before giving way to a light grain backbone and finally transitioning to a slight bitterness with hints of green hops in a long and pleasant fade. As the beer warms slightly, notes of peach show up on the nose and palate with the citrus, giving just a tease of sweetness before fading into the hop bitterness.

This is a fine beer which showcases the citrus aspects of citra hops in the best possible way. Grab your pooch and head on over to your local bottle shop and get yourself a bottle or three of this great beer.

Laughing Dog Pure Breed Citra American Pale Ale grabs 4 Best in Shows out of 5.