Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Beers by HTNL part 1: Boulevard Double Wide IPA

I'd like to start a new section of the blog dedicated to the craft of brewing and of the many fine American beers of our age.

Today's selection is the Boulevard Brewery's "Double Wide IPA"

The IPA or "India Pale Ale" originates from the British colonial period. When India was controlled by Britain, the Brits had many troops in India. And, those troops wanted beer. So the British were always trying to transport beer around the horn of Africa, which is a long journey all the way from Birtania. As a result, all the beer was spoiling. It must now be recounted that hops (one of the 4 main ingredients of beer) are a natural preservative, and give beer its bitter taste. So the British in all of their wisdom, shoved tons of hops into beer to preserve it for the journey and thus made it incredibly bitter. And so, the IPA (India Pale Ale) was born and lives on today.

Many IPA's suffer from over hopping. Most notable examples of this are Sierra Nevada's IPA and Victory's Hop Devil. These beers may be closer to the original IPA, but they suffer from an absence of complexity and creativity. Though, other than this major flaw, I generally enjoy these beers for what they are; overly hoppy with immense flavour. Other beers, however, such as Rougue's Double Dead guy (though not explicitly an IPA) and this IPA, the Double Wide, have a clever blend of hops and malts that have more complex and sophisticated characteristics. Most notable in this IPA, are notes of lighter citrus and apricot. Along with a thick, rich head and definable aroma, it is a full experience, and not just a ton of hops. The floral elements are more lilac and rose, and less full blasting hoppy bitterness. It has all the benefits of an IPA with none of the customary weaknesses.

HTNL rating of 8.8/10


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will "hop" right to the store and invest.