I’ve enjoyed a few ‘West Coast IPA’s’ here at The Brewclub, some better than others, but was particularly pleased to find a bottle of Thornbridge’s take on the style.
As a West Coast IPA, I’m guessing the ‘Bear State’ refers to the bear on the flag of California, but I’m sure that the powers that be, at Thornbridge, are aware that Arkansas is once again the official ‘Bear State’, and according to my map, Arkansas is not on the west coast.
Thornbridge might, of course, be somewhat preoccupied with brewing amazing beers.
Thornbridge describe this as “A classic IPA brewed in the spirit of the West Coast of the USA. This is a massively hoppy beer, balanced perfectly with a touch of malt sweetness and an intensely citrus hop character to finish.”
It pours a rich, golden colour with a foaming, pure white head that’s slow to fade.
The nose is has pine and citrus with hints of richness, more exotic fruits, maybe tropical pineapple and mango rather than grapefruit.
The flavour is rich, dry, bitter and hoppy. The pine kicks in first, with pineapple citrus close behind – okay, I know pineapple isn’t strictly citrus, but you get my drift. There is some caramel malt underpinning the hoppiness, balancing it precariously.
This brew fits nicely in the Thornbridge canon, it’s seriously potent at 7% ABV, the alcohol is warming, reminiscent of Green Flash’s West Coast IPA, but at a slightly less threatening strength.
I’m happy to give this four and a half Brewclub Stars.
When I recently reviewed Thornbridge’s ‘Charlie Brown’ Peanut Ale I referenced Pete Brown “Thornbridge are exploring the vast library of beer styles that already exist around the world, mastering them in turn.”
This brew once again demonstrates Thornbridge’s mastery of the strong, hoppy, pale ale, style; this time with a distinct ‘West Coast’ twist.