Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Trio of IPAs

You can have your Shandys, your Wheats and your Fruit Beers. When I think summer I think IPAs. In particular, American IPAs. There’s something about the stinging, herbal flavor of American hops that goes perfect with a hot summer day. And if you’ve been trolling the locals lately you may have noticed that we’ve got a decent crop of hoppy beers pouring around town. Hop lovers, here are three IPAs currently on tap in Oshkosh that you shouldn’t miss.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA at Oblio’s

Here’s a big, sticky glassful of hops for you. I like that this beer tends to vary somewhat from batch to batch and if you’re familiar with DFH90, you’ll notice that the keg they’ve got on at Oblio’s is a breed apart from the bottled version. Local homebrewer and beer aficionado Mark Stanek was drinking this at Oblio’s on Tuesday night and here’s what he has to say about it: “I thought the DFH 90 on tap was better than the bottled versions I have had.  The hops were fresher and the beer was tastier and had less of a syrupy feel to it.” I agree completely. Oblio’s has had this on for about a week now, so you might want to get to this one sooner than later.

Founders Centennial IPA at Becket's
Here’s an IPA that doesn’t bother much with trying to balance its pungent, citrusy, hop character with too much malt. Good on them. After all, if you’re drinking an IPA are you really there for the malt? This is an incredibly well-made beer that is generously hopped, yet never grows harsh. The beer comes across with layer upon layer of hop flavor without the mucky accumulation of bitterness that often accompanies beers that are hopped to this degree. You might want to pace yourself with this one, though. It drinks with an easiness that doesn’t hint at the 7.2% ABV it’s delivering.

Central Waters Glacial Trail IPA at Barley & Hops
I was glad to see Barley & Hops put this one on as I’ve been dying to try it on tap. I wanted to see how the keg version would match up to the bottle. If you’ve ever poured a bottle of Glacial Trail into a glass you know it’s one of the most rustic looking beers available. Unfiltered, the bottled version is hazy and full of dancing, little “floaties” that circulate through the brew as if it were still in ferment. The keg they’ve got on at Barley & Hops isn’t quite as dynamic as that, but it’s still like nothing else you’ll find from a commercial brewer. One thing that really comes across from the keg (aside from a load of hop flavor and aroma) is the deep, biscuit malt flavor that forms the foundation of this beer. It lends the beer a creaminess that works as an ideal counterpoint to the citrus and pine aspects of the beer’s hop profile. Another excellent beer from one of the best Wisconsin breweries.


  1. thanks Lee. It sounds like a great night to go out and try all 3!

  2. Agreed! Can't wait to get those down.