Welcome to our weekly beer review, wherein we point you toward the world’s destination ales.
Beer: India Golden Ale (Double India Pale Ale)
Brewery: Breakside Brewery, Portland, OR
Availability: This beer is available seasonally on tap and in bottles around the Pacific Northwest, but I ordered it online at letspour.com.
Tasting notes: Two things to look for: explosive fruity hop flavor and light body. This beer features one of my favorite hops, Mosaic (joined by Eldorado and Chinook). Beers with Mosaic often have big tropical fruit and citrus aromas and this beer is no different. On the nose you’ll get pineapple and most of the aromas of a sleeve of Starburst Tropical chews — it features a juicy hop flavor, not a piney one. And that golden color alluded to in the name is indicative of a lighter-bodied beer, especially when compared to other beers in the IPA family.
Food pairings: Breakside’s own brewpub makes a stellar loaded-up “omnivore” mac and cheese that goes really well with this beer, so I suggest you whip up some classy-ass homemade mac and cheese with good pasta, some spicy sausage and bacon, a few different gooey cheeses and some veggies. If you want to be a little lazier but mimic some of the same flavors, order a good pizza with lots of spicy sausage, peppers, and extra cheese.
My wife and I honeymooned our way down the West Coast last year, starting with a week in and around Portland, OR. If there is a mecca of craft beer in America right now it would have to be Portland. With tons of breweries in the city, Portland allowed us to try a bunch of new beers while we were visiting, but one in particular still stands out when I look back on the trip. We spent one of our most enjoyable evenings in a little brewpub called Breakside Brewery. Head brewer Ben Edmunds gave us a tour around the place and talked us through their extensive tap list as we tasted as many as we could without falling over. Breakside is known for being a prolific brewery, producing a wide variety of different styles and being experimental with the conventions of beer. If you ever find yourself in Portland, a stop at Breakside is mandatory.
It’s not that crazy that Portland is such a big beer city. A majority of the hops that end up in American breweries come from the Pacific Northwest, so it makes a lot of sense that Breakside makes a beer that’s a great vehicle for big and fruity hop flavors. This beer is incredibly refreshing for an 8.1% beer and shows off the hops wonderfully. If you’re afraid of the assertive bitter flavor associated with double IPAs then this is the beer for you. At only 60 IBUs, the hop character brings the fruit without giving you the Keith Stone bitter beer face.
Now I’m off to order a pizza and crack another beer.
For more information, see breakside.com.