January 09, 2015 by Andrew Taylor
Not the best IPA, but my favorite.
A new year brings many things, but from observing everyone’s offices around campus, it has yet to bring new calendars. Those of us who are frequently on campus have noticed some of the building projects are done. I don’t know how long the new taco place, Wahoo’s, has been open, but I remember it’s a recent addition. I love some good Mexican food, and I was eager to give it a try. Am I about to review a taco place? No. I’m just telling you how I rediscovered one of my favorite beers and remembered I hadn’t written about its magnificence yet.
My friend and I stopped in after class for a late lunch, and we discovered they offered pitchers. We both wanted beer, and it was just more economical to get a pitcher. Aside from the flimsy defense for having more than one beer, he wasn’t sure what beer we should get. I perused the menu and decided to order the Dogfish Head 60 Minute India Pale Ale.
I have an idea for how to introduce people to craft beers, and this particular beer is step two. To get people to transition from the generic lagers to the more flavorful brews, I start them with a pale ale. I find pale ales can be mild enough to entice people without being off-putting. Then we get to step two, which is the India pale ale. They’re those crisp, clean hoppy hoppy hoppy beers that so many of us know and love. Dogfish Head does not overdo it with the hops, but it is still most definitely an IPA, and it does not skimp on flavor. While I personally think there are better IPAs out there, I have to be in the mood for their particular nuance to enjoy them fully. Dogfish Head gives me the utility IPA, which is always good, without me having to be in a particular mood.
How does it taste? It has a very clean and refreshing start, middle and finish. It goes great with food as a result, able to bring its own flavor, and cleanse the palate between bites. Like all IPAs, it brings a hop presence, but I don’t find it to be an overly bitter type, or overly assertive. It doesn’t have pronounced citrus notes, but it’s not without them either. Bubbling up from the bottom of your glass is definitely a clean malt and grain flavor. It doesn’t have any inherent sweetness that I could pinpoint, but it might just be canceled perfectly by the imperceptible bitterness hops always come with.
What this beer brings to the table is balance, and that’s wonderful. It doesn’t have to have one flavor that it takes to the max. It expertly blends a bunch of good points to provide its own interpretation of IPA. Veteran or aspiring beer lovers can always come to this brew for a good time. It will never be a bad choice. Balance without sacrificing flavor shows that it’s not just a jack of all trades, but that it can be a master of them too.