Three IPAs and a Cali pils. The hops are coming hard and fast at Green Beacon.
The name of our first one here – Alien Weaponry West Coast DDH IPA – has me thinking of the Marvel movies, since people in those are always shooting blue zappy stuff from guns they stole from the aliens. You know, the ones from The Avengers that fly around on those giant whale-turtle-centipede things and crash into buildings.
It begins as any number of classic West Coast IPAs: light gold in colour with a nice dankness on the nose. But once you start drinking, it moves closer to modern West Coast territory. Joining the dankness is stone fruit and pineapple sweetness that you wouldn’t find in a traditional WCIPA, as well as some almost savoury pine and fresh citrus peel bitterness that isn’t intense but goes on and on and on.
Of course, the category "modern West Coast IPA" has been around for a few years now, so is not as alien as it once was. It’s now settling in with the familiar and comfortable… which I suppose those blue zappy guns eventually do, too. Doesn’t the vulture man in one of the Spiderman movies use the alien metals to make lots of weird weapons that become familiar and comfortable to him? This analogy is completely seamless.
To keep riding the superhero movies train, this next beer would have Batman asking the Joker: “Why so frivolous?” Frivolous Juice Hazy IPA is crazy juicy. The brewers at Green Beacon have definitely been carefree in their use of hops here, flooding the beer with old favourites Citra and Mosaic and new kid on the block Superdelic. The result is a thick and sweet and boozy juice bomb with enough fruit character to blow up two ferries’ worth of people if they don’t do it to each other first. (That’s a Dark Knight reference. Please don’t come after me, national security people – I do not condone the Joker’s actions.)
Okay, we’re done with Hollywood now. Mostly because I don’t have a clever reference to whip out for Trade Winds No Coast IPA.
What I do have is a combination of sensations I wasn’t ready for: a heavy aroma of tropical bubblegum, an almost creamy mouthfeel from the sherbetty carbonation, and a blend of flavours including pineapple lolly and coconut cream (for all you Sabro lovers out there) and unexpected soft banana. It all left me with bitterness on my tongue and booze on my breath and a confused smile on my face.
With California Dreamin’, Hotel California, Going to California, California Girls, California Gurls, and not a few songs simply named California (Joni Mitchell, Phantom Planet, Yellowcard…), California has more songs written about it than any other US state.* It’s only fitting that it also has a place in the naming of beer styles: California Common has been around for a long time, and more recently the Cali IPA and Cali pils have entered the scene.
A crisp pilsner given the West Coast hops treatment is a wonderful thing. In the case of Kinetic, there’s a grain sizzle with a slightly sweet, slightly acidic fruitiness layered over top. The hop character (from Cascade and Idaho 7) is at all points influenced by the pilsner’s subtle and refreshing flavour. There’s mango, but it’s pilsner-ish mango. Citrus, but pilsner-ish citrus. Pine, but pilsner-ish pine. A smooth bitterness and a dry snap on the tongue, and you’ve got yourself one more thing worthy of the California moniker.
*I was going to pussyfoot around this statement a bit more, but then I thought, “You know what? They’re not going to go check. Just say it like it’s true.” That’s what I call responsible journalism.
Published May 23, 2023 2023-05-23 00:00:00