Hoppy Easter…what better #beer than an IPA??

Since the entire mythos around Easter truly makes no sense, when you seriously break it down, I figured I’d throw a review on an IPA up.  I mean, hoppy and Easter go together, since somehow the holiday is represented by a bunny that leaves behind eggs and candy.  Wierd.  And, this particular beer I have reviewed twice; once on-tap and once from a bottle, so now you will be subjected/enlightened by both.

The beer of choice this week is Bear Republic Brewing Company’s (http://www.bearrepublic.com/) Racer 5 India Pale Ale.  The beer is one of the more highly regarded American IPAs available, and rightly so.  I was able to enjoy this initially while living in southern California, and then was rejoiced to find it readily available in the New England area.

The first time I had this beer was from a bottle.  Poured into a pint glass, the beer is a vibrant, crystal orange-gold coloring with a nice, thick, foamy white head. There are smells of hops, naturally, but also green grass, with highlights of effervescent lemon and other citrus sweet notes. At this point, the head is still present, which is impressive retention, and the Brussels lacing along the glass is also very nice to see. The beer is creamy and smooth in mouth, and the hops flavor becomes the foundation for all of the other flavors to balance on. There are definite characteristics of citrus notes, only now shifting more to a grapefruit flavor. Some very light toffee sweetness is also flitting in and out of the picture. The beer, as stated before, is creamy in mouth, but finished smooth, with little lingering. What does hang around on the aftertaste is a very mild hoppy flavor, with a slighty peppered feel to it. Smooth, clean finish makes this an easy drinker, and this is a beer I could definitely get in trouble with! That being said, when I stumbled upon it in a bar, I couldn’t resist trying this nectar on-tap.

Served on-tap at the La Jolla Brewhouse in CA, the beer was served in a pint glass, and it pours a clear yellow-gold color with a thin, filmy head. Well rounded aromas of sweet malt and light hops, with citrus and slight spicy highlights. The flavors are bitter and sour initially, with a bit of green and peppery taste at the end. The body is creamy and buttery; very smooth. Hoppy and tart aftertaste, which is very pleasant, and an easy, smooth finish. A very tasty brew once again!  You really can’t go wrong either way when you stumble across this beer, unless you pass it by.  Do yourselves a favor and buy it!

I really enjoy doing beers that are more readily available nationwide, as it gives the reader a little incentive to actually know that they can find this while they are out and about in the world.  The uber-rare beers are fun to do, don’t get me wrong, but not as globally practical to everyone.  I do love IPAs, and try not to show a complete bias to the style, but when it’s a doozy like this one, I feel the need to share.  Hopefully you can find this and give it a try, and hopefully you appreciate it as much as I do.  And as always, drink educated my friends!

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