The proliferation of lower volume canning lines has made craft beer in containers other than somewhat cumbersome bottles much more common. Therefore, one can come back from a trip to the high country with a pickup cab stuffed with various six-packs. Trust me, you would be amazed at how many six-packs can fit under the rear seat in a crew cab F150.
Prior to seeing a six-pack of Tempter IPA at a liquor store on the way to Breckenridge I had never heard of the Telluride Brewing Company. This is no shot at the brewery, Colorado is awash in breweries with more opening every day. It is a struggle just to get the products on the shelves of liquor stores without having to battle the beer behemoth that is AB InBev or whatever they are going to call themselves in the future.
Founded in 2011, Telluride Brewing Company is playing up the whole “brewed high” shtick to full effect. No, this is not a reference to the legalized cannabis trade in the state of Colorado. Rather, it is the constant reminder about altitude. Telluride Brewing Company is making beer at 8,750 feet above sea level.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about Tempter IPA:
Named after a famed ski run—Tempter Chute—this beer aims to be your prototypical high country IPA. Instead, I think that it falls victim to many of the worst traits of many Colorado brewed IPAs.
First, the beer may be brewed with five hop varieties—Chinook, Centennial, CTZ, Simcoe, Amarillo—but not a single one really stands out in character. Furthermore, the hop profile is quickly lost when drinking the beer. Nothing lingers.
Second, it drinks a little boozy. That is surprising given that the beer clocks in at 6.4% ABV. Compare this with Ska Brewing Modus Hoperandi at 6.8% ABV. Most drinkers would say that Tempter IPA is a boozier beer based on taste alone. Maybe the lack of a malt body does the beer in.
Lastly, there is nothing memorable about the beer. Like so many breweries that pop up with an IPA or two on the tap list you are left wondering why you would choose this beer over any of the other hundreds of IPAs being mashed in Colorado right now.
In Tempter IPA’s defense this is not a bad beer. I think that my harsh assessment speaks more to where craft brewers in the United States have taken the IPA form to in recent years more than anything. If you are going to come with IPA game it better be very strong:
See what others are saying about Telluride Brewing Company Tempter IPA @ Beeradvocate.