Tasting Notes: The United States of IPA

I am terrible when it comes to posting tasting notes for my beers. I’m lucky if I get around to writing up my impressions on half of my batches. In the future I think I’ll do some catch-up pieces where I write some quick impressions of several beers.

The US of IPA is the perfect time for me to test out this concept. I brought the beers to Jamboree, and with all that goes on at Jambo I didn’t exactly have time to hold each beer up to the light to note the appearance, and then swirl the beer around to rouse the head and make a detailed description of the aroma.


Broken First IPA (West Coast IPA): I think I nailed the recipe. The extra Citra that I didn’t have for batch one gave the beer a much more prominent hop flavor. I ran into a coworker who was attending Jambo for the first time. He tasted all four of the beers and enjoyed this one the best.

Dave Rowland from SoMe Brewing said he got a very low level of oxidation from it. Oxidation may be an off-flavor he is more sensitive to than others, especially as a commercial brewer. Broken Fist was the only beer of the group that I racked to a secondary fermenter which could explain the oxidation Since the beer was double dry-hopped, I didn’t want the beer sitting on the first dry hop for too long. Broken Fist was also the first of the four that I brewed making it the least fresh.

To improve the beer going forward is more about improving my process than the recipe. Dave said when I think I purged my keg with CO2 enough, to go ahead and purge some more. If I rack to a secondary fermenter, that should be purged also. Next time I would need to brew more wort to account for the huge amount of hop absorption.

Ideally I would cold crash the beer and use a fining agent like gelatin to help with clarity.

Age of Sail

Age of Sail IPA (East Coast IPA): This beer proves that an IPA can showcase a rich and complex malt profile. I learned at Jamboree that Stone Path Malt while based in New England that the malt is actually malted in Germany at a family-owned malthouse in Bavaria. Even if the malt doesn’t have a New England terrior, the traditionally produced malts were perfect for this traditional IPA. Michael Scroth, co-founder of Stone Path really enjoyed the beer.  I look forward to using their products more in the future. The Ringwood Ale yeast with its medium attenuation accentuated the malt flavor perfectly.

Hop bitterness was sufficient, while the hop flavor was perhaps a touch low. If I brewed this again I would probably substitute the Mt. Hood hops for Crystal or Cascade, increase the hops late in the boil and dry hops slightly. For a first brew I was quite happy with it. The 3 gallon keg kicked at Jamboree. It is comforting to know I am not the only person who still appreciates a more traditional, balanced IPA.


Flyover IPA (Midwest IPA): Not only was this the last recipe I finished putting together, it was the last name I came up with. I wish I did a little more research on the name as there are several commercial beers with the same or similar names.

The beer itself is rock solid and felt like a quality representation of Midwest IPAs. It was hoppier than Age of Sail, and maltier than Broken Fist. The underlying malt flavor was clean and slightly sweet. It was also not too sweet that the mash clashed with the citrusy hop flavor. I think the hop profile was perfect for this beer. Flyover was the only keg not to kick at Jambo. I look forward to revisiting it again and seeing if I enjoy it as much as I did at Jamboree.


Haze for Daze IPA (New England IPA): I couldn’t have been happier with this brew. It had the characteristic “juicy” hop flavor and soft mouthfeel. I think increasing my flaked adjuncts really enhanced the latter.

I got similar fruit esters from the Giga Yeast Vermont Ale yeast as I’ve gotten from Heady Topper and beers I’ve made with The Yeast Bay’s Vermont Ale. That really complimented the fruity hops used in the beer. The Pearl malt gave the beer a light sweetness which added further complexity.

This beer is another keeper. I would love to brew exactly the same recipe, but with three different hops varieties.

In all I would say the project was a success. I was able to brew with a wide variety of different ingredients, combine different flavors, and make four unique beers that all fall within the same style.

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