New Belgium Brewing Co. – Fort Collins, CO
Alpine Beer Co. – Alpine, CA
Super India Pale Ale
I’m also a total hophead, so I know the lure of the Alpine Beer Co., a California nanobrewery that folks outside of the state have little chance of ever enjoying. So when New Belgium and Alpine teamed up to create a triple dry-hopped imperial IPA (TRIPA?), I scoured three local beer stores in hopes of finding it.
The pour is a very clear orange witha slight copperish tone. There’s finger of a really fluffy head that does stick around. That gives way to some really nice lacing and some good alcohol legs
The nose on this thing is incredible. There’s a gigantic pungent hop note on the nose with a big resinous note. You get huge pine straw, orange, lemon, citrus, grass. Every smell you’d want in a great DIPA is magnified x3 with this thing. (Looking back at my notes, I wrote “incredible” four times, so that should tell you something.)
There’s surprisingly just a slight hop bitterness on the front of the tongue followed with a medium body mouthfeel. It seems simple enough, but there’s a huge contrast in tastes on the end. It starts with big, wet pine straw that’s very resinous and sticky. That’s followed by the sweet and bready maltiness you get from most New Belgium beers. And it all settles into this slightly tart but big, juicy orange juice flavor. It seems like it might start off a bit too strong, but as it settles it gives way to a really luscious, juicy bouquet of flavors that’s very unique.
This is a DIPA that steps up the game a bit. The nose is phenomenal, like no IPA I’ve smelled before. And the taste is incredibly unique. You get those big pine, resin and balanced malt notes on the front and a refreshing and cleansing fruit juice taste on the back. If this is any indication of what Alpine does – and I’ve heard this is only the tip of the iceberg – I’m definitely going to have to seek out more of their stuff.