Saturday, July 3, 2010

Father's Day Beers

I received three IPA bombers for Father's Day, Torrey Pines IPA,  brewed by Left Coast Brewing for Oggi's restaurants, New Belgium's Ranger IPA and Stone's Cali-Belgique.  I guess I am pretty predictable in my beer style preference.  I enjoyed all three, finishing the third last night.  The first beer I tried was the Torrey Pines IPA.  I was not expecting much from this beer as I have not been impressed when I have had it at several Oggi's locations.  I liked the bottled version better than what I have had on tap.  It was a solid IPA, good hops, and I think it was on the piney side of the IPA taste spectrum.

The second beer was the Ranger IPA. I'll admit my expectations for this beer were low.  New Belgium makes Elysian's Immortal IPA, which I did not like.  I had a Ranger earlier this year and thought it forgettable enough to not even post a comment, but that may have had more to do my distaste from getting stuck with a big tab at a meal where we were invited rather than the particulars of Ranger.  I popped the cap on my Father's Day Ranger with an open mind, and liked what I found.  Ranger is a modest beer when compared to other big IPAs, a West Coast IPA it's not.  It is hops are subdued but its citrus flavor shines.  "Juicy" was the description that kept coming to me as I drank Ranger.  Ranger not being a "big" IPA worked for me.  It was balanced and refreshing, and is a perfect weeknight beer.  I think Ranger may be a spring "seasonal" beer.  This is a good beer unless you pick it up looking for a hop fix.

The final beer was the Cali-Belgique.  There was no shortage of hops here.  I discussed Cali-Belgique last year.   Its hop bitterness is pronounced, but Cali-Belgique's  Belgian yeast strain turns the IPA pine/citrus debate upside down.   The Belgian yeast and strong hop combination work in Cali-Belgique, producing a unique flavor.  This is a beer for the hop lover or advanced IPA drinker.  Someone new to IPAs should start with the Ranger, not the Cali-Belgique.


BreworFerment said...

The Stone offering WAS great. If you want to try another good one try their new collaboration Saison Du BUFF. Really good and very complex. Enjoying your reviews.

Rational Realist said...

I have had three of the Saison Du Buffs. What a great beer, I am writing up a post that will do it justice. I think it is the best collaboration beer I have had.