When I was living in Atlanta working for an archaeological firm, one of my jobs took me to Wisconsin for a month. Wisconsin in itself is a beer heaven as it seems there is a brewery in almost every town. But this review is on Goose Island so I digress. One weekend a few of us decided to go to Chicago. This was the first time I had ever ventured through Chicago. I had flown through there once but never really wondered the city. One of the things we really wanted to do was visit Wrigley field. We did the normal touristy thing and took some photos and then wondered down the street. We decided to get a drink somewhere and I happened to spot Goose Island Wrigleyville Brewpub. We went in and began sampling their beers. Their India Pale Ale was one of those beers. I’m glad that they distribute to Kansas because they do make good beers. They aren’t the top of the line (in my opinion) but they are really good for a more midwest flavored beer.
The aroma is a florally hoppiness. The color of the head is an off white and the body is a reddish gold (I’d call it an apricot gold). The initial sip I took was quite a shock as the floral hops were right there in my face (reminded me of the shock of walking through a spiderweb). After that the next sip was very interestingly fruity with a little matly sweetness. The finish was just slightly bitter. Upon letting the beer warm a little I began to notice that the hops became spicey which mixed with the malt created an effect that made me think and taste chocolate. I’m not sure if this was an intended effect but it was kind of cool.
IPAs are a kind of standard beer found at every brewery/brewpub. As one gets into beer you develop a taste for hops and IPAs fit the bill quite nicely. Each IPA is as unique as the brewers want to make them. They come in super hoppy or mellow hoppy or fruity or even florally. But one thing for sure is that they are going to be hoppy. It’s part of the history of an IPA.
The IPA was created back in the days of British Imperialism. When Britain had control of India they had troops stationed there. These troops were very thirsty (when are troops not thirsty). The problem was the English beer at the time wasn’t able to survive the journey from England around the Horn of Africa and across the Indian Ocean. Beer on a boat didn’t sit below decks it was tied to the side of the boat exposed to temperature fluctuations and being shaken up from all the rocking back and forth. That journey was extremely rough on the beer. Brewers back in England relized that hops were a natural preservative so they added a lot of them to the beer. At that time that would have not been a beer someone would have drank at the pub shortly after brewing. The long journey, exposure to heat, and being shaken up constantly produced a beer similar to ales in England. It was still hoppier than most English ales but it was much more similar to them and the troops were very thankful to have a much better tasting beer. So there is the brief history of an IPA. If you think this sounds like a great beer to try here are some to try:
IPA – Tallgrass Brewing Co.
Josiah Miller IPA – Free State Brewing
No. 24 IPA – Lb. Brewing Co.
Titan IPA – Great Divide Brewing Co.
Ranger IPA – New Belgium Brewing Co.
India Pale Ale – Avery Brewing Co.
Single Wide IPA – Boulevard Brewing Co.
India Pale Ale – Nebraska Brewing Co.
Hop God IPA – Nebraska Brewing Co.
Torpedo Extra IPA – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
As I said earlier every brewery has an IPA (at least one if not more) these listed are just a few to get you started.