Friday, April 25, 2014

Easy IPA Fills the Fridge Gap

With a hundred or so bottles of beer in the basement fridge, and an equal amount in boxes nearby, it's hardly believable that sometimes there's just "nothing to drink." I'll occasionally stand at refrigerator digging through closely packed bottles, looking for the right beer to suit my mood — and come up empty handed. Such was the situation last evening. I was in the mood for a hoppy Pale Ale or IPA, and I couldn't find one. Despite the full fridge, it was obvious that a shopping trip was in order. Almost giving up, I remembered the sample bottle of Flying Dog Easy IPA that arrived earlier this week.

According to the accompanying flyer, Easy IPA is "session IPA" promising a "low-ABV hop bomb." This is the first beer from Flying Dog's Brewhouse Rarities series of limited release beers to make the jump to a year-round offering.

Easy IPA pours a clear light yellow color with a thin white head and lots of bubbles. Looks sort of like your standard American lager. But that's where the similarities end. The aroma gives off sharp citrus, fruit and spice aromas. Despite the mild appearance, the flavor is quite bold. The initial hit is bitter citrus; grapefruit rind comes to mind. That is quickly balanced by caramel malt and piney notes, and a hint of lemon tartness. The finish is a lingering, and somewhat sticky bitterness. As a bonus, all this flavor comes in a low 4.7% ABV package.

My glass was soon empty and I wished I had just one more bottle on hand. (These promotional samples are mere teases.) It's easy to see why Flying Dog Easy IPA was promoted to year-round status. This beer is bold and flavorful, while maintaining a "light" and easy to drink body. I like this one a lot. Now that I've noted the deficiencies in our beer stock, I suspect I'll be filling some of that gap with this one.

The beer reviewed here was a promotional sample from the brewery. My impressions are provided of my own free will.


  1. 1) How do you obtain promotional samples? 2) Don't session IPAs ruin the experience of drinking beer? Why eliminate all the malts? If we're going to be an hop head nation, can't we at least balance?

    If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a session IPA skeptic. I'd rather drink a Farmhouse Ale.

    1. How do I obtain promotional samples? I go to my front porch and pick them up when the brown truck of happiness delivers them. :-) Seriously, they are sent unsolicited. I've been doing this for 7 years, and a couple breweries have noticed. I don't go looking for them, that relieves any perceived obligation in the review. (And I don't review all I get.) I don't get nearly as many as some bloggers, but then again I scare some folks. ;-) I have a funny story about how I first hooked up with the Flying Dog folks, when they were still in Denver, I'll share over a beer sometime.

      As far as the idea of "session IPA," it's part marketing gimmick I'm sure. I'm a hop head and this one fits the bill well, and it's low in ABV. I prefer the hoppy IPAs over the malty ones anyway.

  2. Flying Dog beers always are bold in way or the other. I'm particularly fond of their coffee stout not just for flavor but because a friend of mine is the local coffee roaster whose coffee they use.

    1. Agreed. Flying Dog is very big on using local ingredients. Harvest Ale, Oyster Stout, Old Bay Summer Ale come to mind as well. And they don't make wimpy beers. :-)


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