“Session” beers are the rage. After spending what seemed like an eternity in the wilderness searching for flavorful, low alcohol craft beers I now have a plethora of choices. From the excellent Founder’s All Day IPA to New Belgium’s Slow Ride and on down the list there seems to be a new “session” IPA that comes out every week.
The trend seems to be to make lower alcohol IPAs, which is good because these recipes could stand to take it down a notch from eleven. Seriously, how many double and triple IPAs does the world really need? And how many of those double and triple IPAs can a person drink? It is tiresome to listen to beer snobs—like myself, mind you—prattle on about how they will not consider drinking a beer unless it is above a certain ABV threshold. It’s bro behavior in a hipster mask.
Lagunitas Brewing Company out of Petaluma, California brings Day Time IPA to the fray:
At 4.65% ABV and ~54 IBU this beer seems to have the bones for a good session beer. You will notice from the picture that it pours light and the beer drinks light. Described as a “fractional IPA” Day Time comes across lacking in any serious notable flavor. You drink one and there is little memory of the drink on your palate or in your brain. Could it be that Lagunitas created the “Coors Light of session IPAs?”
There is a little notable bitterness, but there is almost no malt body to give that bitterness some spine. It actually reminds me a lot of what New Belgium did with Slow Ride. In aiming for a broad appeal flavor profile the beer comes across as being bland. It’s not bad, just boring.
It’s surprising coming from Lagunitas because I am a fan of their more traditional IPAs.
Here is what others are saying about Day Time IPA on Beeradvocate.
The Iowa beer trail has stopped in Des Moines for an offering from that city’s Confluence Brewing Company. On tap is the Des Moines IPA:
At a rated ABV of 6.9% and an IBU of 75 you will be instantly hit with how drinkable this beer is given those decently lofty figures. Do you remember when a time when a beer at 75 IBUs would have been considered on the extreme end of things? I do. It was called the 1990s.
The trick with making Des Moines IPA so drinkable is that it has the perfect complement in a strong malty backbone. Unlike a lot of beers that sock you in the palate with a hop blast, this beer allows the body to mellow out the hop profile so that you can enjoy it rather than looking for a snack to cleanse out the bong water aftertaste. Note to brewmasters everywhere: Just as there is more than umami to a dish’s overall flavor excellence there is more than hops to a beers overall flavor excellence. Balance, dig it.
See what other people are saying about Des Moines IPA at Beeradvocate.
Confluence has only been in business since 2012 the brewery is putting out three year round beers with a selection of seasonal and limited runs. In addition to the glass growlettes Confluence is putting its beer in cans, which is good for all of us out there who want to enjoy a beer in a place where glass is forbidden and do not like the environmental impact of glass bottles. If Oskar Blues can figure out a way to make a “crowler” then every brewery should be on board with the canning movement. I totally want a local brewery to get one of these.
If you get a chance when you are in Des Moines—cut the Iowa jokes because this state is a great place to live and Des Moines has a lot of good things going on without a hipster quotient that will make you want to cry—visit the taproom near downtown. The area is pretty sweet with minor league ballpark nearby and some other decent bars—El Bait Shop anyone?—nearby if what is on tap at Confluence does not do it for you.
By the way, I am complete sucker for these little growlettes or apothecary bottles. Seriously, these are like the fuzzy bunny rabbits of packaging. Who does not like these little guys?
Posted in Beer
Tagged ABV, ale, beer, Confluence Brewing Company, Des Moines, hops, IBU, Iowa, IPA, pale ale, review