Beer of the Week: Skagit River 404 IPA

By Iron Chef Leftovers

srI love Skagit River Brewing, they are one of the most consistent breweries in Washington state and make some of my favorite beers, particularly IPA’s. A trip there in 2013 brought some excitement for me as there were a couple of beers on their tap list that I had not tried, particularly the 404 IPA. A new IPA, I am game. The 404 IPA is actually more of an imperial pilsner than an IPA (or at least should have been), but, having had a couple imperial pilsners that I loved, I decided that this was worth having.

The beer pours very pale yellow in color with light notes of grain, virtually no hop character and not much else. It didn’t get any better when I started drinking it – the beer has virtually IPA character with just a touch of hop bitterness to remind you that there are actually hops in this beer, but that is almost completely overwhelmed by the pilsner yeast just about immediately. The beer has just the one pilsner note, fades quickly and really wasn’t all that interesting. It would have been a solid beer if it was advertised as just a pilsner, but it was a complete failure as an IPA.

Skagit River 404 IPA disappoints and fails to connect with 1 “404 Not Found” Errors out of 5. (Which makes me wonder if the name is an inside joke).

Just a sidebar to this story – Mrs. Iron Chef ordered the pilsner when I ordered the 404. Initially I thought the waitress switched the beers because mine seemed too light and Mrs. wasn’t happy with hers because she thought it was too hoppy. The waitress got the right beers to the right people and we ended up switching, I drank a nicely hopped pilsner and the Mrs. drank an IPA. That may be the only time in history that scenario will happen.