Beer Blog: New Local IPAs

| March 12, 2013 | 4 Comments

Along with many craft beer fans, my favorite beer style is the India Pale Ale, more commonly referred to as simply “IPA.” These ales typically offer a big dose of hops and a higher than sessionable alcohol content. Thanks to the continual experimentation and drive to push through boundaries by craft brewers, we can enjoy not only IPAs, but black IPAs, white IPAs, rye, double, imperial, Belgian, and even session IPAs.

Here are my thoughts on a few new locally brewed IPAs:

Baltimore Washington Beer Works “Tell Tale Heart Ale” – This 7.3% abv IPA pours light amber with an off-white head. Grassy and tart citrus are noticeable in the aroma. The hops dominate this one with just enough malt to provide some body. Flavors of orange and grapefruit rind are followed by the slight prickliness of pine and lots of grass. The finish is pleasantly on the dry side.

Evolution Craft Brewing Co. “Lot No. 6 Double IPA” – This double IPA is not a new brew, but it is newly available in bottles.  The appearance of this ale is a nice hazy golden amber color with a frothy almost-white head. The aroma is grassy with sweet citrus and a touch of sweet dough on the back end. After a few sips this brew coats the mouth with a myriad of hop flavors- bitter and tart citrus swirled with grass and hay and fainter spruce and pine.  The 8.5% abv is well hidden by a slight caramel maltiness that ties the beer together perfectly.

Heavy Seas “The Big DIPA” – This beer is a rebirth of the first beer that Heavy Seas released in 22 oz. bottles back in 2009.  After not being brewed last year, the 2013 version has been aged on oak spirals.  It pours dark copper with a bubbly head. The aroma is complex with a little sweet caramel, oak, earthy hops, and faint alcohol. The beer brings layers of flavor, starting with smooth vanilla and pancake syrup that quickly transitions to a pleasant oakiness finishing with bitter earthy hops that build on the oak.  The bitterness becomes more pronounced as it warms.  At 10.5% abv, this is indeed a big beer.  It may not please hopheads looking for a bitter hop bomb, but the layering of flavors impressed me.

Union Craft Brewing “Rye Baby IPA” – This new ale from Union appears very hazy with a nice orange-copper color and a thin head. Oranges and big citrus dominate the aroma. The taste is decidedly pumpernickel with a touch of pepper followed by a big orange citrusy smoothness.  The citrusy hops and mild spice from the rye play very well together in this beer.

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About the Author:

I'm a South Baltimore resident that commutes and travels everywhere I can via bicycle. Craft beer used to be a hobby that grew into what might be considered an obsession. When I'm not sampling new beers, you can usually find me either running through the streets of Baltimore training for my next race, in the weight room, or playing with my dogs. Geotechnical engineering pays the bills.
Filed in: Dining