Tag Archives: All Day IPA

New Belgium Ranger IPA

It was Memorial Day and I was looking for a beer in a compliant container. I needed beer in cans to satisfy The Man and his desire for safety. Okay, I think that if people are going to be drinking in a public place, like a park, it is a good idea to drink from cans so that no one ends up taking a spill onto some broken glass.

Unfortunately, my go-to canned beer—Founders Brewing’s All Day IPA—was out of stock. Sucked back into the unenviable position of choosing amongst the masses of options my hand fell onto a twelve pack of New Belgium Brewery’s Ranger IPA.

Making its debut in bottles in the first part of 2010, Ranger IPA was part of a wave of beers that started to increase the hop content in somewhat more mass market beers. Prior to this time a lot of hoppier beers were reserved for taprooms and more localized markets.

Several years later, how does Ranger IPA hold up:

Ranger IPA

This beer does not drink as bitter as its 70 IBU rating would suggest. Chinook hops are a smooth addition to any beer and seem capable of imparting a resinous bitterness without overpowering every other flavor. One of my favorite extract recipes from Northern Brewer is the Chinook IPA, which is a single hop beer showcasing that particular variety. In fact, I have a keg of Chinook IPA that should be ready to serve in the first week of June or so.

Ranger IPA is also dry-hopped which leads to a burst of aroma when your nose first hits the glass. With the very resinous notes of Cascade hops you expect a more bitter punch from the beer, but because dry hopping does not contribute to the bitterness it is just not there. It’s kind of a trick that is common to many dry hopped beers. I used to think this was a gimmick, but I have come over to the side of dry hopping and believe that it allows for another layer of complexity in the beer without going down the tastes/smells like a headshop route. No one wants to think they are drinking bong water.

If you can overlook the campy Beer Ranger marketing ploy give it a try. It’s a very good exemplar of a modern American version of an IPA.

Recently I have been pretty harsh on the beers coming out of New Belgium Brewery, e.g. Snapshot or Spring Blonde, but Ranger IPA is somewhat of a redemptive beer for the brewery. It shows that a properly focused beer can come out of a rapidly expanding brewery with national distribution intent.

Purchase 3 Mug Rating

Founders Brewing All Day IPA

Beers have gotten big. I do not mean Texas Roadhouse big where a beer comes in sizes approximated by milk jugs sizes. I mean that beers are both big in terms of alcohol and bitterness. When wheat beers are over 6% ABV and 100 IBU is not an uncommon benchmark for a pale ale to meet someone has to say, “Stop the insanity!” Sorry, I went all Susan Powter on y’all.

Founders Brewing out of Grand Rapids, Michigan answers the call to offer something that is just bigger with All Day IPA:

All Day IPA

The description is that it keeps your taste buds satisfied while keeping your senses sharp. At 4.7% ABV and 42 IBU this beer is right in what I consider to be the sweet spot of easy drinking pale ales. Right now I am waiting to tap two batches of my house pale ale which are calculated to come in at about 3.7% ABV and 35 IBU, so All Day IPA was a perfect tester.

This beer lives up to the billing of all day drinkability without putting you face down on the lawn. This does not taste like a watered down IPA at all. Sometimes a “session” pale ale can taste like a cop out where it seems that the brewer just doubled the water in the brew kettle to get down to spec. All Day IPA was a recipe that was obviously purpose built to come in where it did. This is the kind of beer that I think is often overlooked in today’s ever crowded craft beer market and it is a shame.

It is brewed using Simcoe and Amarillo hops, which surprised me a bit because I did not notice the sometimes overpowering flavors and aromas present in both of those varieties. Maybe I am still scarred by a Simcoe dry hopped IPA that still lingers in the back of my throat. Ugh.

Being available in cans also means that you can bring a few to places where regular old bottles or growlers cannot go. And it comes in a fifteen pack. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

I am hesitant to call any beer a truly smashing success, but like Toppling Goliath’s pseudoSue this particular beer hits the spot:

Purchase 4 Mug Rating