Alaskan Brewing sent me a sample of their 21st anniversary beer, Alaskan IPA. This is one west coast brewery not known for hopping the crap out of their beer, so I was interested to see what they'd do with an IPA. Cathy and I split it with dinner tonight (chili and cornbread).
Not bad! I was actually expecting something bizarre and over-the-top -- I mean, they've been holding back -- but this was a nicely balanced beer, good hop aroma, firmly bitter and medium-bodied, but still crisply drinkable. The hops tamed the chili heat (it was a fairly mild batch I'd made back in February with beef chunks and bratwurst, then frozen, but I'd jazzed it up tonight with ground ancho chiles and a dusting of powdered chipotle for a nice smoky touch), the malt pulled the sweet out of the fresh-baked cornbread. Nice stuff. Wish I could get more of it around here.