Category Archives: IPA’s

Trillium Brewing ‘Number 49’ El Dorado Double IPA


39496811_936067696577376_5661603057541054464_n“Permutation is our experimental series of small batch offerings, showcasing the unique visions and innovative concepts developed by our brewing and cellar crew. Permutation 49 is a Double IPA brewed with Lactose featuring El Dorado in the double dry hop and pours a deeply hazy, vibrant orange hue.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Murky orange complexion that tops off with a cm of tightly held foam. Good head retention and healthy lace work as it ebbs.

Aroma: Nice and juicy. Lots of citrus-forward and zingy hops with a strong focus on pithy grapefruit, orange and tangerine. Picking up plenty of tropical stone fruit as well – mostly mango, rockmelon and paw paw with distinct piney notes cutting through. Maybe some creamy pineapple in there too. The malt is sweet, doughy and honeyed, offering a good balance to those dominant El Dorado hops. Brilliant nose.

Flavour: Much more dense and chewy, showing its AbV just a smidge more than the aroma. Less definition on the citrus with further stone fruit character to the fore. Jammy notes of apricot and marmalade blend nicely with the creamy vanilla/lactose before it moves in to the incredibly smooth finish which displays creamy orange, pine and candied citrus on a length.

Mouthfeel: Silky soft texture, well rounded and hiding that AbV very well (8.3%). Medium body, mild-medium Co2.

Overall: What a drop! Straight up west coast IPA on the nose then showing suggestions of NEIPA on the palate. Remarkably smooth and luxurious finish. One of the finest DIPA’s we’ve ever drunk. Brilliant.

Treehouse Brewing Co. ‘Haze’ Double IPA


39044765_927616497422496_3679545387821039616_n“Our core double IPA! Haze is crafted with pale malt and an extreme kettle and dry hop dose of our favorite Northwest American hops. We smell a ton of peach on the nose, with complimentary notes of orange and passionfruit. The flavor is similar with a blast of citrus fruit & peach quickly followed by a bounty of tropical fruit.  A lingering and pleasant saturated hop oil finish awaits. . . . A real juice bomb of a beer, and a true Tree House original.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy AF! Pale mustard yellow sort of affair with a fluffy two finger head sitting atop. Decent retention with thick soapy lace coating the walls of the glass on its way down.

Aroma: Amazing. Like a freshly cut fruit salad topped with pine needles, dried apricot and fennel. It offers plenty of that hallmark creamy/chalky vanilla along with leafy herbs and botanicals as well. Picking up hints of frosty fruit ice blocks which envokes a bit of nostalgia for us. Nice grainy malt character at the base. Lovely aroma.

Flavour: A tad surprising really. No where near as much fruit. The hop profile is very delicate – mostly citrus forward notes of orange, grapefruit and a touch of passion fruit. A late hop bitterness surges forward in to a dry, bitter and citric finish with fairly good length on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Remarkably light and chalky. The 8.2% AbV hides itself very well and the 90 IBU is prominent late in the piece. Mild-medium body and Co2.

Overall: Very Green is the only other TH IPA we’ve tried and this one doesn’t come close. It is a very tidy NEIPA but we won’t lie….we were expecting a bit more from it! Not bad though.

Big Shed Brewing ‘Boozy Fruit’ NEIPA


6822804B-9BAF-4F4E-A77D-A6A16E27FDE5Glassware: Goblet

Appearance: Pours a dirty dishwater colour with plenty of carbonation seen bubbling away. There is an off white 1 finger head full of compact small carbonation. Retention is excellent..a bit creamy lace that doesn’t budge. Massive wall of lacing seen as the brew is imbibed.

Aroma: Breakfast juice..sweet tropical flavours burst out of the glass with passion fruit, guava, ripe pineapple, alongside citrus orange and pine. Smells reminiscent of a frosty fruit ice block we used to have as kids.

Flavour: My goodness does this have alcohol in it?? It just glides over the palate and down the gullet leaving a decent yet balanced bitterness from the hops. More pine, grapefruit/lime/orange peel citrus and now only can you start to tell there is alcohol in it (6.2%) after a few sips. Slight amount of spice tingling the tonsils. Faint caramels here. The tropical fruit bowl is now subdued but the aroma doesn’t change so it’s nice balance between olfactory and taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body on the palate with mild to moderate length, leaving a restrained bitterness and spice tingle. No IBU stated but either way it blends in perfectly especially the back palate.

Overall: Bloody tasty. This was the GABS 2018 people’s choice winner. At the time we remember it being a standout, or at last top 5. We have had some amazing NEIPAs in our time since the craze began and it’s very good. A worthy purchase.

Murray’s Brewing ‘Angry Fred’ IPA


53D24FA2-B29F-4B65-8EC9-9C16BC605141Glassware: Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: We see that typical hazy burnt orange with a finger and a half width bubbly yet compact and almost velvety white head that retains brilliantly. Lots of minute carbonation coming from underneath.

Aroma: Plenty of tropical fruit like green mango, white grapefruit and orange citrus, fresh pine, spice and resin. It has single Maris Otter malt which delivers that slightly nutty but ale-like aroma. Slight caramels hanging around there that aren’t overly sweet. Not a lot of booze detected. Quite nice on the olfactory.

Flavour: The citrus hops dominate firstly then combine with more sweetness of the malt as we hit the back palate. The bitterness is nicely blended here and it’s smooth but assertive. Tropical flavours taste slightly less than the aroma but there is that hoppy resin on the palate. Only mild spice now detected. Alcohol volume here of 6% and its about right. Lingering caramels, citrus, and nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: A light to medium body with similar carbonation offers that ale like smashing on a spring day. We unsure of the IBU but we would guess it’s somewhere north of 70? The bitterness lingers on the back palate but doesn’t overpower. Length is mild to moderate. You just keep sipping which ain’t a bad thing.

Overall: We loved the original Fred when it first came out and but we thought the brew had altered slightly so when the Angry Fred came out we were excited. It’s delivered assertive bitterness yet still retaining that piney, citrusy, resiny goodness. As smashable drop and we hope it’s a regular at Murray’s Brewery because we visit it regularly and we could down several.


Fieldwork/Urban Family ‘Cloud Control’ Hazy IPA


37790018_907457629438383_8087741434926465024_n“A collaboration with our friends at Urban Family in Seattle, Cloud Control is a celebration of the crappy weather we both have in common, and a bridging of brewing styles to create an IPA that is fairly Fieldworky but definitely exemplifies the brewing swagger we’ve gotten to taste on our trips to Seattle. Enjoy this cloudy IPA while it’s out and say hi to our friends next time you’re up in the Emerald City.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Golden orange with a heavy haze. It’s sealed off with two fingers of finely beaded foam which gradually reduced but it still manages a fine lace as it subsides.

Aroma: The nose if filled with fresh citrus hop initially. Juicy orange and tangerine, paw paw, melon, mango and apricot come through with a touch of vanilla cream and piney/herbal botanicals. Somewhat of a dry and husky malt structure, hinting at crusty white bread in its delivery.

Flavour: Variations of orange citrus on entry i.e tangerine, mandarin, rind. Detecting a bit of warmth from the AbV (7.5%) with dank herbal hops and mild spicy notes around the mid palate. An assertive hop bitterness carries it all in to a dry and bitter finish with orange peel and slightly astringent booze in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy but developing a bit of west coast-style aggression in the swallow. Booze is quite prominent. Medium body and co2.

Overall: Can’t say we’re as impressed by this as we were with Hazy Train. It lacks a bit of balance and it just doesn’t seem to have that wow factor. Still, it ain’t all that bad we just wouldn’t seek it out again.

Seven Stills & Bare Bottle ‘CitraCot’ Apricot IPA

37607858_904957943021685_7228350536632762368_n“When you live in San Francisco, it’s hard not to be aware of what Barebottle Brewing has going on.  For the past few years they’ve been cranking out some of the juiciest, haziest, and downright dankest IPA’s in town.  So when it came time for us to think about breweries to collaborate with for a juice bomb of an IPA, we didn’t have to look much further than right down the road. Our Citracot IPA collaboration ended up being almost a tropical cocktail IPA, in that the softness from the stone fruit flows with the juicy bitterness and citrus notes in a way that you can only really describe as “umbrella-worthy”.

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Relatively clear golden amber pour. Two fingers cap it off and retain pretty well. A good smattering of lace sticks to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Tonnes of stonefruit. The apricot is front and centre but its flanked by an abundance of peach, passion fruit, orange blossom, rockmelon and overripe paw paw. It kind of has this pumpkin pie note to it which is really lovely. Definitely picking up a floral bouquet – not fresh though, a bit like cheap powdery perfume. Nicely done.

Flavour: A bit more raw. The apricot is still emphasized but it’s like biting in to a slightly unripened one freshly picked off the tree. Getting some earthy tones, kumquat, marmalade and orange peel as well. Not seeing much variation though, the same flavours carry in to the finish where a hint of tangy tangerine lingers on the close.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, minimal bitterness. The 7% ABV is tucked away rather nicely too. Co2 is good. Mild-medium body.

Overall: A little disappointing we must admit. Seven Stills and Bare Bottle collaborated to brew this beer but it’s interesting to know that Seven Stills went on to make a CitraCot whisky using a very similar recipe. Now that would make for an interesting boilermaker!

Bridge Road Brewers ‘B2 Bomber Mach 8’ Imperial Belgian Black IPA


37245567_900619963455483_4103749850128973824_n“Bridge Road Brewers reached its 13th year of brewing in 2018. We have continued the tradition of brewing a new yet bigger incarnation of the B2 now reaching Mach 8.0 The recognisable combination of complex dark malts, fruity Belgian yeast characters and big punchy hops remain, however, we have turned the dials up this year with the introduction of Corowa Whiskey.”

 Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Glossy black which reveals a faint dark red hue when held to the light. It forms a thumb of finely beaded foam which persists and decorates the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: We don’t even need to bring it to our noses to get a whiff there’s plenty of uplift on this bad boy! As per tradition the 8th instalment brings a potent concoction of American hops, dark roasty malts, belly warming booze and a masterful touch of Belgian yeast. We do detect a minor variation though, it comes across as citrusy/tangy – blood orange perhaps? Jaffa? Cherry? Can’t quite put our finger on it but we like!

Flavour: Pow! There’s an intense rush of prickly booze, orange-infused chocolate, raw tobacco and what could best be described as Cointreau – although we’re inclined to say that’s due to this years addition of Corowa whisky. It mellows in to a nice and malty middle before it’s reignited with coffee, roasted malts, piney hops, citrus and a hint of those yeasty esters to finish.

Mouthfeel: Remarkably smooth, it sits at 11.5% ABV and they’ve done a magnificent job concealing it. Co2 is low with medium-full body.

Overall: Brilliant drop. It’s complex, it’s fun, it’s fierce and well marketed. We love how they make subtle changes to each years vintage as well. Big ups to Bridge Road once again. We’re already looking forward to the next instalment.

Fieldwork Brewing Co. ‘Hazy Train’ NEIPA


37317016_902159553301524_6676977349730238464_n“All aboard!!!!! I…I…I…IPA it is a changin’, haze is the new black, henceforth Hazy Train will be crowned the Prince of Dankness. Feel free to crush your pint of Hazy Train with reckless abandon and revel in its juicy nature and hop character that is cranked up to 11; just do yourself a favor and don’t pee on the Alamo.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance. Pale light mustard body with a sturdy two finger head perched on top. It takes a while to break up as it weaves a fine lace down the glass.

Aroma: Displaying lots of dank wet hops, rotting leaves, eucalyptus, orange peel and aniseed. We just picture lush green forests every time we take a whiff. Picking up some hallmark brekky juice as it settles in as well – peach, apricot, papaya, guava and melon. Absolutely bursting with aroma.

Flavour: Sweet baby jeebus this is good! Like the aroma it’s jam packed with dank, wet and herbaceous hops, some spiciness giving a little rise to pepper and curry leaf along the way. Juicy notes of peach, melon, guava and apricot mixed in among a bit of grapefruit, orange and pine which lead to a drying finish with a grassy and herbaceous back palate.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture, mild-medium body. Co2 is right on the money. 6.9% ABV is nicely hidden.

Overall: It’s the full package! We can not fault one part. From the appearance to the texture and even to the brilliant artwork on the can which is very eye-catching. Words just won’t do it justice. Magnificent!

Akasha Brewing Co ‘Red Kelly’ Red IPA


37008557_897831253734354_7752521183093850112_n“Brewed in collaboration with the Australian Heritage Hotel. Red Kelly finds the perfect balance between hops and malt in this easy-drinking red IPA. It features just enough smooth and slightly sweet malt body to support huge citrusy and tropical fruit-forward hop flavors from the use of Simcoe, Centennial and Citra hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: It pours a bold and deep amber hue with excellent clarity. Two fingers of foamy head rests on top. Retention is superb with ample lace as it subsides.

Aroma: Citrus forward with the sweet malts playing 2nd fiddle. Hallmark American hop notes like grapefruit, orange peel and pine resins cut through those syrupy and caramelised malts beautifully. Picking up mild traces of spice (mostly pepper and a hint of fennel seed). Maybe just a flutter of toast getting a look in too. Lovely stuff.

Flavour: They’ve struck a good balance here, the citrusy/fruity hops are nice and direct with that solid malt sweetness at the base. It hits a sweet juicy note in the middle but again it counters with an assertive hop bitterness. A touch of warming booze, caramels and citrusy hop carries in to a well rounded finish which endures.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth. The 60 IBU and the 7% ABV is well disguised. Medium body and co2.

Overall: Another fine example of the style from Akasha. It’s no secret that these guys are one of the best when it comes to American-inspired ales and this just reconfirms it. Kudos Akasha!

Garage Project & Modern Times ‘We Are Family’ NEIPA


36629632_887836941400452_767355843699015680_n“Cannabaceae, what an interesting little family. Hops and hemp. There’s a passing resemblance, but family ties run deeper than looks – both plants are packed with similar resinous oils full of terpenes bursting with flavour and aroma. This brew’s a family reunion in a can. Freshly harvested whole cone hops, partially dried at low temperature and combined with fresh hemp seed extract. It’s a playful celebration of legislative changes which open the way to future hemp innovations. Remember, the family that plays together stays together.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber orange with a fluffy two finger head perched on top. Good retention and healthy lace work down the glass. P.s watch your pour as there are some big chunks of yeast that settle at the bottom of the glass.

Aroma: Super juicy. Strong wafts of stonefruit, apricot, pineapple and guava lifting out. Pear, apple, grapefruit and a hint of vanilla cream along with a flutter of herbals/botanicals, dried tea leaf and minerals in support. Can’t be sure whether the latter are adjunct scents of the hemp seed extract, if not then that part of it is completely MIA.

Flavour: Bang on for a NEIPA. Tangy, juicy and somewhat herbaceous. Pear, mango, apricot and rockmelon pair up with delicate hints of orange and spicy tea leaf through the mid palate. A mild hop bitterness forms before a smooth and grassy/herbal finish pulls up a bit short on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and well rounded. Mild bitterness with a nicely disguised 7% ABV. Good co2. Very crush-able.

Overall: We love the idea of blending hops with hemp but really the hemp side of it is difficult to detect. Other than that it’s a delicious IPA (although unsurprsing as it is a collab between two world class breweries). Solid offering.

Holgate Brewhouse ‘2018 Millenium Falcon’ Emperial IPA


35473203_872233679627445_5598436286324015104_n“Get ready for a tropical hop hit from beyond the stars! May the hops be with you! First brewed in 2013 to mark our 1000th brew, the Millennium Falcon is made with pale malt and an interstellar hopping rate to produce an “Emperial” IPA that is simply out of this world.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Golden amber with a light hop haze. The head swells to about a thumb before slowly receding to a film. Seeing some nice lace work as we hook in.

Aroma: Smells fantastic. Super fresh and hiding that 9% ABV really well. Lots of clean pine needle, citrus juIce, pineapple, mango, yellow grapefruit and dank herbals. Somewhat of a semi sweet and buttery malt structure holding it all together. Solid introduction so far.

Flavour: A bit more aggressive that’s for sure. Tasting some sweeter fruits like pineapple, mango and melon initially with grapefruit developing towards the middle. A steady booze burn ascends in the background as it steers to orange rind and sharp pine/spruce to finish. Good endurance – dry and bitter but still balanced enough to show some sweet-ish buttery malts on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Well rounded, slightly sharp and chalky. The bottle states a 100+ IBU and although it’s felt it levels out with a fine malt presence.

Overall: After returning from a West Coast brewery tour recently our palates have been treated to some of the finest IPA’s in the world. We’re stoked to say that this Aussie IIPA would easily stack up against them all. Very worthy.

Bottle Logic Brewing ‘Ocularity’ Double IPA


35228543_869667159884097_7824067852117213184_n“A piney and resinous Double IPA made with Chinook, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber/orange with two fingers of white foamy head over the top. Decent retention and lots of lace clinging to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Aaahhhh a good old pine bomb! Like the IPA’s of yesteryear. Layer upon layer of weedy pine resins, tropical fruits (mango, passion fruit, paw paw, lychee), zingy orange peel, some citrus notes like grapefruit, tangerine and mandarin. The malt backing is quite sweet – some caramel/honey with a touch of buttery biscuits. A traditional West Coast IPA!

Flavour: Lots of zesty and zingy orange citrus to the fore. The booze is rather aggressive in its delivery, bringing the cocktail fruits along with it. Sharp notes of pine needle, grapefruit and mild white pepper roll in to the dry and super bitter finish which reveals more of that warming booze (9% ABV) and acidic citrus at the back end.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, aggressive and extremely bitter (100 IBU). Medium body and co2. Definitely feeling the heat from the ABV as well.

Overall: In this era of the “haze craze” we must admit it is refreshing to rewind back to the gold old days. Ocularity offers that quintessential west coast IPA character – the booze, the bitterness and the almost palate wrecking aggression. Love it!

Alvarado Street Brewery ‘Countach’ Double NE IPA


34841081_868208896696590_5276490842100465664_n“Double IPA fermented with an expressive blend of yeasts, resulting in flavors and aromas of juicy nectarines and ripe pineapple. Dry hopped heavily with a unique pairing of American and Southern Hemisphere hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Murky mustard yellow body with a huge three and a bit finger head capping it off. Solid head retention with a smattering of lace left behind.

Aroma: Tonnes of uplift. As the glass just sits their idle we can still get wafts of juicy fruits like mango, pineapple and guava. It has that somewhat chalky vanilla note with flashes of minerals, herbs and botanicals also coming through. Some grapefruit, apple/pear and citrus rind in here too. Dead set right on the money.

Flavour: Holy moly this is good. Super smooth and fruity as it comes on, oodles of sweet fleshy fruits (mango, pineapple, orange, melon), some pine resin, grassy hop, creamy vanilla and grapefruit. A touch of bready malt forming as it finishes remarkably smooth and fruity with lingering grassy hop and pine resins in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and slightly chalky with the 8.1% ABV concealed magnificently. Lively co2 and a nicely held IBU (45).

Overall: Incredible. Most probably one of the best NEIPA’s we’ve ever had. Faultless.

Pure Project ‘Triple Hyped’ Triple IPA


33720265_862081630642650_2576387556149035008_n“A dangerously drinkable 10.3% Triple IPA featuring Nelson, Citra, and Mosaic Hops.  Aromas and flavors of guava, mango and ripe tropical fruits appear over a subtle bitterness and smooth mouthfeel.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy pale gold with a two finger cap over the top. Excellent head retention and healthy lace work on the glass.

Aroma: Rather interesting it’s like the east and west coast are having a secret rendezvous in our glass. On one hand we’ve got grapefruit, lemon, orange peel and pineapple and on the other we have pineapple, mango, peach and guava. The best thing is that they work harmoniously! Very little in the way of malt, bready if we had to choose. Very nice!

Flavour: Damn smooth for a triple IPA! It leans a bit more to the East Coast with its sweet fleshy fruit profile i.e mango, guava, pineapple etc. Some flashes of citrus and pine resin here and there. How the hell is this a triple IPA!? Some prickly warmth from the booze but that all tapers off by the finish which mind you is as smooth as a baby’s bottom!

Mouthfeel: Creamy, rather light on and dangerously drinkable. The 10.3% ABV is hardly even noticeable. WTF?!

Overall: Sorry to sound like a broken record here folks but how the hell is this a triple IPA?! It drinks like something half its size and it’s smooth as silk. Extremely well structured beer. Sensational.

Toppling Goliath ‘Mosaic Dry Hop Golden Nugget’ IPA


33686749_862072590643554_7220935786697326592_n“The combination of golden promise malt, Mosaic, and Nugget hops make this IPA a bouquet of hop, citrus, and pineapple aromas, followed by floral sweetness. a bold, hop-forward taste captivates the senses and leaves behind a pleasant bitterness.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Super cloudy golden/mustard yellow. It constructs a big three finger head that persists with a smattering lace all over the glass.

Aroma: It showcases the magnificent mosaic hop really well. Tonnes of pineapple, peach, lychee and pear. Super juicy with solid creamy and stonefruit characters……literally brekky juice! Some mild citrus undertones, a touch of spice and some botanicals thrown in for good measure!

Flavour: So juicy. It actually tastes like a fruit salad. I mean pineapple, rockmelon, pear, orange, lychee, grapefruit, peach, guava and banana are all here. Creamy and somewhat musty notes in the back seat. Smooth and fruity through the mid then finishing on a slightly bitter note with hints of grapefruit and grassy hop character on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture with a bit of drying bitterness late in the piece. Medium body with a well masked 60 IBU and 6.8% ABV.

Overall: Hard to fault it really, it’s a damn fine NEIPA. One of those beers where you wished you had another 12 in the fridge. Sadly we don’t as we muled this back from the USA. Top notch.

Founders Brewing Co ‘Dankwood’ BA Imperial Red IPA


33573405_861152690735544_6683822814635491328_n“What do you get when a big, bold imperial red IPA meets an oak bourbon barrel? A palate stunner that’ll send your senses spinning or, as we like to call it, Dankwood. Rich caramel notes emerge from the depths of the IPA, highlighting strong malt character while the bourbon barrel-aging develops the complexity. A dank, sticky and slightly sweet sipper, Dankwood is the perfect alchemy of wood and hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Very deep amber with a thumb of puffy tan foam perched on top. It’s reasonably well retained and leaves a streaky lace drag down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Dank, boozy, sweet and syrupy. Over ripened stonefruits such as mango, rockmelon, paw paw and pineapple which seem to accentuate the super sweet syrupy notes (not to mention the hefty 12.2% ABV). Certainly picking up undertones of the bourbon oak, it’s quite subtle but there to be found. As it settles it almost gets this amaretto scent to it. Potent but very elegant.

Flavour: It hits every corner of the flavour spectrum! It’s rich, sweet and syrupy but it’s also dank, bitter and hoppy with its hints of grapefruit and orange peel early in the mid. Nutty malts, toffee, caramel and burnt sugar finish with a liqeur-ish note, stewed fruits, port and a subtle jaffa-like flavour that really goes the distance on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, dense and resinous with an intense booze burn. At times aggressive IBU (65), wouldn’t want it to be much higher to he honest.

Overall: It’s a great drop but my goodness it’s an onslaught to the senses. Points for complexity, body and fun factor but it’s just slightly palate wrecking.

Russian River Brewing Co ‘Blind Pig’ IPA


33487291_861202230730590_6013106260537245696_n“Blind Pig IPA was originally brewed by Vinnie at Blind Pig Brewing Co. in Temecula CA. Inspired by the original Blind Pig IPA, this beer is loaded with hop character but only has 6.0% ABV. ”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Golden pour with excellent clarity. Quite a short head and minimal wavy lace being strewn down the glass.

Aroma: We’re getting that hallmark American IPA nose led by pithy grapefruit, pine needles, citrus rind, fresh herbs, some orange citrus and light florals. The malt profile is so clean it ain’t funny. We’re more inclined to say it’s grainy with some husky and sweet notes as well. Solid!

Flavour: It has that typical all-encompassing bitterness with a dry and pithy astringency in support. We’re picking up a light grainy/biscuity malt that softens the mid palate before the brawny bitterness returns with delicate honey, citrus acidity and pine needle on the close.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly crush-able. Dry and slightly warming (6.25% ABV) with mild-moderate body. Co2 is spot on. Dangerously easy over the tongue!

Overall: Extremely well presented IPA. After all it is Russian River! We hate to stack it up against Pliny but we can’t help it, somehow it finds itself in its shadow but it still has this super clean feel with enormous session ability…..just like Pliny!

Modern Times Beer ‘Avalon’ NE IPA


33380530_860772567440223_2147041425282301952_n“The progeny of London yeast and a breathtaking plethora of juicy hops, this 7% stunner promises to be a hazy IPA of the highest order. Prepare your taste receptors for a rousing chorus of tropical wonderment that will have you singing its praises long after the final sip.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy orange with soft golden highlights. It builds a finger of foamy head which reduces to a halo. It posts a consistent set of rings as we imbibe.

Aroma: Absolutely on point. Crammed full of brekky juice fruits – mango, pineapple, guava and orange with the slightest hint of apple/pear on the flank. Muted grapefruit, kumquat, stonefruits and passion fruit in there too. Somewhat buttery malt profile, kind of reminds us of Anzac cookies. Superb!

Flavour: Creamy tropical fruits to the fore – brekky juice galore! All those aromas transition in to flavour with added notes of apricot and peach. It’s unbelievable how smooth it is through the mid, the bitterness is muted, there’s a mild spicy/herbal note and a citrus accent that rolls in to a dry yet pleasant finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture. Seriously well masked IBU (50) and an even better concealed ABV (7%). Medium body, mild-moderate co2.

Overall: We want to say it’s as good as heady topper but it just falls short. Pretty much faultless but as it’s not as good we can’t give it a 10….even though it probably deserves it!

Pizza Port Brewing Co ‘Swami’s’ IPA


33059434_860734897443990_3732481542644039680_n“Swami’s IPA is a special beer to the Pizza Port family as it was the first IPA brewed in our original location over 20 years ago in Solana Beach. With a more traditional hop profile, this beer is the quintessential example of a West Coast IPA as it showcases the fresh bitterness of citrus and pine. Swami’s is named after one of the most famous surf breaks in San Diego county, which, as perfectly depicted on the can, is always crowded with surfers and paddle boarders alike. The break itself gets its name from its proximity to a Self-Realization Fellowship, a landmark in Encinitas that is also perfectly pictured on the can. Whatever your form of meditation is, we hope that each and every sip contributes to your own self-realization! Hops: Chinook, CTZ, Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Simcoe.

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Clear golden pour which caps off with a finger of loosely held foam. It peels back to a fine film which manages to work a healthy lace down the glass.

Aroma: It’s got a bit of everything. Stonefruits, tropical fruits, citrus, little jabs of pine, tangy orange along with tangerine and ruby grapefruit. Somewhat yeasty too – light phenolic citrus and spicy floral tones with little malt in the background, light and bready/grainy in our opinion. Really nice.

Flavour: Quite the citrus bomb upfront. More pronounced grapefruit, orange peel and sharp piney notes which carry a bit of that boozy warmth with it. She really intensifies midway, all that grapefruit acidity, pectins and hop bitterness hits a crescendo then tapers off in to a dry but well tempered finish.

Mouthfeel: Typical IPA intensity. Bold, bitter and drying with a bit of boozy warmth (6.8% ABV) in the swallow. Medium body and co2.

Overall: A solid IPA with plenty of big and slightly aggressive aromas and flavours to back it up. Good body and an assertive IBU (72). Would buy again, if we could get our hands on it in Australia!



Barrel House Brewing Co IPA


33226089_859774800873333_4078472052036599808_n“We built this delicious unfiltered West Coast IPA around a unique blend of specialty hops delivering mouth-watering juicy dankness. Put it in your mouth; you can thank us later. Cheers!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy gold with soft amber highlights. We’ve got a finger of puffy white foam that persists and draws a soapy lace as we indulge.

Aroma: Lots of tropical fruit hop notes. Wafts of mango, pineapple and melon with light citrus accents. It’s hinting at grassy hops, maybe just a flutter of dankness in there. We’re also picking up a resinous pine with a soft caramel malt sweetness to balance it all out. Not bad.

Flavour: A little bit less tropical fruit and more resinous pine and a touch of candied citrus (mostly lemon and lime) on entry. Becoming quite pithy and acidic through the mid palate. Very mild malt sweetness rolling in to a drying finish with the acidic bitterness and slightly warming booze in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Dry and somewhat astringent with that big 76 IBU developing in the swallow. Minimal balance though, making it aggressive and kind of unapproachable.

Overall: Not quite what we were expecting (or hoping). It’s slightly unbalanced with a piercing alcohol warmth and aggressive bitterness which only intensifies as it settles in the glass. Decent enough but it needs some fine tuning in our opinion.