Saturday, March 12, 2011

While The Wife's Away IPA - Part 2

I can stop being selfish and finally write this post now that I have had several growlers of Pizza Port Ocean Beach's While The Wife's Away IPA (WTWA).  It's time to let the secret out that WTWA is an outstanding, limited release IPA.  The current batch on tap is the final brewing of WTWA this season, as it used all the remaining fresh hops.   I recommend getting down to Ocean Beach and getting a pint or two of WTWA before the kegs run dry.

There are so many IPAs on the market that it is the rare IPA that gives me pause.  When I tasted WTWA around Christmas I was impressed by its freshness, sharp citrus hops and balance.  I was told it was going to be in regular rotation but then it disappeared for two months.  When it came back in late February I raced down to get a growler and clarification on whether WTWA was a regular beer or not.  Well, it's not a regular beer, it is a fresh-hop IPA seasonal and won't be back for about six months. 

WTWA is a juicy, citrus flavored IPA. It is a fresh hop IPA, and the hop bitterness jumps out at the front and lasts into the finish.  What struck me about WTWA was its earthiness.  Wine makers stress terroir, or the land where the grapes were grown as the sign of a quality wine.   I have never thought of this description for a beer before, but WTWA has terroir, from wherever its hops and malts were grown.   Its earthiness imparts a richness and depth that most fresh hop IPAs lack. 

The Ocean Beach Pizza Port brewed another fresh-hop IPA last fall called Get Wet.  I liked Get Wet but I can't directly compare it to WTWA since it's been nearly six months since I have had it.  Get Wet's hop presence, like many fresh-hop IPAs, seemed more ephemeral than WTWA.  Its initial shock of hops quickly disappeared.  WTWA's hop profile is just as pronounced, but it has much longer finish to go with its earthiness.  The other IPA in Ocean Beach is Jetty.  It's a decent beer, but the balance is too heavily tilted towards hops, which leads to quick taste bud fatigue.  WTWA is Ocean Beach Pizza Port's best IPA.   It is well worth making the trip to Ocean Beach to enjoy WTWA while it's available.


Steve said...

Was over at OB about a couple weeks ago and saw WTWA IPA on tap... I asked the bartender to compare it to Jetty for me and she said "maltier and more balanced" so I quickly put in my usual order for Jetty IPA. You make this beer sound quite tasty though, and if I had known it was a fresh hop beer I probably would have ordered it. Maybe I can get down there for some more before it's gone.

The Hop Daddy said...

I was there a couple of weeks ago and had WTWA for the first time. I liked it a lot, but didn't realize it was a fresh hop IPA. I lean toward the DIPA style, and like Nickle Bag a lot.

Beer Rover said...

Steve, maltier and more balanced is a good thing for this beer. She should have added that. I hope you can make it down before the kegs run dry.

Hop Daddy, WTWA is not as juicy as the first batch late last year, but still pretty fresh. Nickel Bag is good, super hoppy and sweet without tasting like syrup.

PPOB is having a Port/Lost Abbey night Thursday, 3/24. Supposedly, there are going to be some special releases, including one that rhythms with Ned Sloppy.