Wednesday, May 29, 2013

(I)PA Challenge 2 - Quarter Finals 1 & 2

Quarter Final 1
Rogue Yellow Snow IPA 5.8% €4.99 [Baggot St Wines] link
Left Hand Brewery Stranger American Pale Ale 5%  €3.69 [Baggot St Wines] link

Both of these are brand new to me, I went into Baggot St Wines and picked up four (I)PAs I had never seen before and these are two of them. I do have to say there is a fantastic selection of beers here, if you're tired of the beers here, you're tired of life.

Rogue Yellow Snow IPA
Deep straw colour, cloudy with a lingering head. Yummy, decent amount of fruity hops, a smidge of malt. Well balanced with a lingering bitter hoppy finish. Delicious.

Left Hand Brewery Stranger Pale Ale
A similar colour to to the Rogue but the head here didn't linger. The style here is much different. I guess this is an "American" Pale ale as opposed to an "India" Pale ale? This is light on the hops and is a bit fruitier in a classic ale way. It's certainly tasty but might be a little light...

Winner Rogue Yellow Snow IPA

Quarter Final 2
8 Degrees Brewing Howling Gale Pale Ale 5% €1.99 [Dunnes] link
Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale 5.9%  €3.29 [Baggot St Wines] link

I've been drinking the Howling Gale for a few months on and off. Whenever I needed a tasty but inexpensive (I)PA, this was my "go to" ale, especially as it's Irish. The Liberty Ale I believe is a fairly iconic American microbrewed ale, we'll soon find out if the reputation is justified.

8 Degrees Brewing Howling Gale Pale Ale
I like this. It's not a hoppy monster, it's well balanced and has nice, if refined, flavours. A beer to convert the lager drinker but probably not an (I)PA competition contender. One of the least expensive beers here and recommended.

Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale
I'm not sure if this beer should be in this competition as I don't think it qualifies as an (I)PA (full disclosure: my definition is pretty much based on what it says on the bottle. If it says "pale ale", it qualifies). In a pinch I'd say this is more like a golden ale? However, it is rather wonderful. Not much in the way of hops but some lovely malty sweetness and balance and finish and yum.

Winner Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale


  1. Only one actual IPA in the selection...

  2. Jay - you're not wrong. My main criterion for entry was the words "pale ale" on the bottle. The Liberty Ale does fail this test and as such, shouldn't really be included. But hey! it's a blog not an entrance exam to Harvard...

    I have updated any instance of "IPA" to "(I)PA", where "I" stands for an optional India, Irish or Indus etc.