I don’t usually do detailed beer reviews any more, but sometimes I try a beer that makes me feel like talking.
Vankleek Hill’s Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. is about to release an IPA that will join their roster full time. Appropriately, it’s called Full Time IPA.
Here’s why I dig this: You could argue that the IPA trend in Ontario is on its way out (I mean you could. I probably wouldn’t listen), but we’re definitely ushering in a return to traditional, “simpler” styles like pilsners and lagers. And so Beaus, who are arguably best known for their kolsch-style beer, have decided to to offer a up a full time, hop-heavy beer because, why the hell not?
Here’s another reason I dig this: They did it right. This is a near pitch perfect, 60 IBU, 6.7% West Coast IPA. It’s made with Simcoe, Cascade, Nelson-Sauvin, and Citra hops and pours a hazy, beauty, amber colour that would make John Hammond weep.
It’s got a nice head that hangs around like a lonely aunt after Thanksgiving dinner and the aroma is big, grassy hops, citrus, and a subtle underlying dankness that’s reminiscent of the funk clinging to the interior of your burnout high school buddy’s Camry.
There’s lots of fruit in the flavour but rather than big bright citrus I was expecting after the aroma, it’s more like the heaping piles of mango you might find at the breakfast buffet of a really bitchin’ Holiday Inn, dipping away from the high lemon notes in favour of something closer to resiny sweetness.
The finish is impactful, short, and bitter like an Amazon review of faulty yard tools.
The press release for this beer suggests that fans have been asking Beau’s CEO and co-founder Steve Beauchesne for a beer like this for a long time, and, accordingly, you can tell that considerable effort went into making this right. This is an expertly-balanced IPA that will compete with Collective Arts’ Ransack The Universe, Sawdust City’s Lone Pine IPA, Nickel Brook’s Headstock, and whatever new thing Mike Lackey is making right now at GLB now simply by steeping his flannel jacket in the brew kettle and I predict it will rank among some of the best IPAs in Ontario.
I’m admittedly biased when it comes to hop-forward styles, but this is probably the best Beau’s beer I’ve ever had.
Full Time IPA will be released on May 11 and will retail for $4.95 for 600mL bottle.