Into the Pint Glass: IPAfeatured

Into the Pint Glass: IPA {the ponytail diaries}

Linking up with Mariah and Katie again for Into the Pint Glass! This time around, we’re drinking IPAs.

I drink IPAs…a lot. If there was an official beer of San Diego, it’d probably be the IPA. The big, hoppy, aggressive, American, West Coast IPA, at least. (Thanks, Stone.)

If beer is an “acquired” taste, IPAs are an especially acquired taste. Many people who don’t like beer, or don’t like craft beer, don’t like the bitterness that comes from hops.

I’ve been able to (luckily) acquire this taste, and I can rattle off a pretty lengthy list of IPAs I’ll happily drink (Sculpin, 30th St., Idiot, any of Poor House’s experimental batches, Tower 10, Tornado, Two Hearted, Racer 5 — which was probably the first IPA I really enjoyed — Total Domination, the list goes on…) — although I’m finding myself a little weary of HOPS HOPS AND MORE HOPS right now and tend to go for pale ales and session beers. But I’m sure I’ll veer another direction soon enough.

(Once again, Mariah and Katie have some detailed info on IPAs, if you want to check it out.)

Anyway, I was at Trader Joe’s when I remembered I need to pick up something to taste for this round, and first got super excited when I found Stone’s Delicious IPA, which I first tried last summer, then couldn’t find it anywhere, and assumed it was a one-time thing.

Into the Pint Glass: Stone Delicious IPA {the ponytail diaries}

Cool fact: Apparently it’s a gluten-reduced beer. Husband and I have been talking about trying to make a decent gluten-free homebrew, since my aunt and one of his best friends from high school are gluten-intolerant beer lovers. Husband randomly got to talk with a couple guys who work for Stone last weekend, who said one of their head brewers felt comfortable giving the Delicious IPA to his father, who has Celiac’s. I won’t pretend to understand all the science behind it, but if you can’t have gluten for whatever reason and want a decent beer, I’d definitely suggest trying this one if you can find it.

With an ABV of 7.7% and IBU of 80, it’s…what you’d expect from Stone — big, bold, bitter, hoppy. (I first tried Stone’s Arrogant Bastard Ale as a freshman or sophomore in college and, of course, hated it. It’s still not one of my favorites — though Stone’s Levitation, Pale Ale, and Cali-Belgique are absolutely delightful.)

Aroma – Piney, spicy

Color/Appearance – light golden/copper

Flavor – Citrus, pine (almost green — in a good way). Almost all my favorite IPAs and pale ales are heavy on crisp, citrusy, piney flavors — it’s like this beer was made for me. There’s some bitterness on the back end, but it’s very nicely balanced with the citrus flavors.

Overall – I will be looking for this at stores and on tap all summer. It’s very aptly named.

I’ve never tried a gluten-free or gluten-reduced beer before. I have no problems with gluten (luckily, since gluten-ful foods make up at least half my diet), and I’ve never heard great things about gluten-free beers, so I was like, why bother? It’s great that big brewers are making beers that anyone can drink and that anyone, gluten-intolerant or not, would want to drink.

Something else caught my eye at Trader Joe’s, and I had the brilliant idea of trying both a traditional, English IPA (which are traditionally much less hoppy and more malt-forward) with an American IPA.

Into the Pint Glass: Greene Brewery King's English IPA {the ponytail diaries}

The King’s English IPA comes from Greene King Brewery in England. Single 16 0z-bottles are under $3 at Trader Joe’s. Its ABV is 6% and I couldn’t find anything on the IBU, but I’d guess it’s pretty low.

Aroma – Malts. Lots of malts. Some caramel.

Color/Appearance – very dark copper/amber

Flavor – Very malty, with just a touch of bitter on the back end. It reminded me more of an amber ale than an IPA, though that could just be my American taste buds speaking.

Overall – You know, not something I’d pick often, but a very solid beer.

Also, I looked it up — the tumbler or pint glass (I think of those as an English pint glass to distinguish from the standard shaker pint glass) and mug (or stein) are the “proper” glasses for both English and American IPAs. In case you’re interested.

Into The Pint Glass

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  • My brother was a brewer as Stone and he called me after I posted this and was like, why didn’t you try a Stone beer? I told him it’s because I don’t like hoppy beers so of course I’m not going to try a Stone one. He’ll be happy to know that you enjoyed one.

    And I’m going to have to pick up The King’s English because I’m definitely a malt lover.

    Thanks for linking up!! xxoox

    • It’s a great beer for malt lovers! I went through a phase (still sort of in it) where I avoided super malty beers. Now I’m open to trying them more, at least.

  • I didn’t see any English IPAs at my liquor store, but I think I may have to try one as they seem to be more up my alley. I definitely think I may have to try the King’s English!

    • They may not always be specifically labeled “English IPA.” If you’re at a decent liquor store or bottle shop ask someone there for one or for a less-hoppy IPA.

  • I still have to find this one!! They did not have it on the tap when we went to Stone. I’m glad to hear this is a good gluten-free one. The Dogfish Head gluten-free I tried was the worst beer I’ve ever had. Societe has a good English IPA on tap right now, Haberdasher. Thanks for linking-up!

    • It’s definitely at Trader Joe’s. I imagine other liquor/grocery stores too. I’ve never liked Societe’s beers that much but I’ll have to keep an eye out for Haberdasher.