Style: IPA, American
Availability: year round
Pairing: onion rings, brie cheese, pizza, pasta puttanesca, brined olives
Summary: A well balanced year round IPA that’s a great standby for pizza night or on your local tap.
Continuing my goal to rekindle a love for the IPA, this time I turn to Lakewood, New York’s Southern Tier Brewery to check out what they consider the great American IPA. This one pours a clear orange-amber color with a one-finger white head that settles to a slight film leaving little lacing on the glass. The aroma is pleasant and more malt-forward than your typical IPA registering a balance of sweet, caramel notes and floral hops. The flavor is right inline with the nose and it’s a caramel malt and pale malt palate with a mildly assertive bitterness from the floral and citrus hop flavors flavors. Without getting too technical, there is a nice cascade hop flavor which is one of my favorites so this one goes down easy with some nice surprise woody undertones that arise as the flavor lingers.
This is a pretty middle of the road take on an American IPA which seems like exactly what Southern Tier are going for in a year round offering. It’s a nice standby – both well balanced and drinkable – and the darker caramel malt does add some unique character. One drawback for me is the 6.9% ABV which makes something this drinkable a tough a session beer and , while there are not enough stand-out flavors to make it worth hunting down, Iwould not hesitate to grab one on tap with dinner.