Friday, May 23, 2008

Green Flash West Coast IPA review

Green Flash West Coast IPAToday's brew review is a selection from the Green Flash Brewing Company of San Diego, CA. I chose their West Coast IPA as I was in the mood for something hoppy. This beer is billed as a hop monster and had a robust 7% ABV so I knew what to expect. It's meant to be "an extravagantly hopped, full-flavored" IPA. I say "Bring it on!".

I used a Samuel Adams custom beer glass for this tasting. Upon pouring, I saw a nice orange copper colored beer with a nice nearly white head fill the glass. What I didn't expect was a glass full of cloudy sediment filled beer. Now when I say sediment, I mean it was chock full of it.

There were bit chunks of material floating all over the beer. I was concerned. Was this yeast sediment or perhaps hops? I had to look it up and seemed to find that several other people found large amounts of sediment in this beer.

My logical conclusion is that this beer has yeast deposits naturally floating around in this beer. I was at first put off by the site of this but decided to drink it and judge it by other factors before passing judgment. By the way, the 2nd beer I opened was just the same, so it wasn't a fluke.

Once I got over the visual impairment of this beer, I sampled it. Woah. Hop explosion! There be an abundance of hops in this beer including Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial and Cascade. All of which gave this beer a piney, fruity, citrusy, pungent and floral effect all in one sniff and sip.

The taste was expectantly bitter but offset well by a moderately malted mix. I'm so glad that I love IPAs now. It was just what I was expecting from this ale and it didn't disappoint. It was a nice bitter from start to finish. The hop aroma was perfect for this style.

To help offset the bitterness a bit, I chose to drink this beer paired with some slightly sweetened Kettle Korn popcorn. Mmmm tasty!

Admittedly, I kinda freaked out a bit when I saw all the sediment. I decided to try to filter the beer a bit to get rid of the sediment. Big mistake. By filtering the beer, I essentially de-carbonated the beer and it fell flat. Ooops. I won't do that again.

I opened up a 2nd beer, which had the same amount of sediment, and drank it straight out of a glass this time. Despite being able to detect some solids when I drank this beer, it ended up being a really good drinker. I'm looking forward to having more from this 6-pack.

I'm going to give this beer a 3.4 out of 5 rating. My rating would have been higher if not for all of the sediment. Looks do count in my book. Nice beer Green Flash, but please clean it up a bit next time. Anyone else have a reaction to seeing a lot of sediment in your beers? Post a comment below to share your thoughts.

Update 5/27/2008: I wrote to Green Flash and asked them about the sediment I found in the beer and if that was normal. I got an email response from Mike Hinkley from Green Flash and here is what he said:

"Due to the intense amount of dry hopping the beer has loads of proteins in solution that bond and show as sediment in the bottom if the beer gets very cold. We are working on reducing the sediment in the bottles, but there will likely always be some cloudiness and some sediment in the bottom. Perhaps your beer got very cold and caused a lot of bonding. You are correct in the beer will taste the same either way. There is nothing wrong with the beer other than perhaps the presentation if cloudy beer or a little sediment bothers you. Cheers. Thanks for your support. Mike"

Related article:
- Green Flash Extra Pale Ale review.
- Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA review.
- Russian River Pliny the Elder IPA review.

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