Saturday, May 23, 2009

IPAllapolooza -- VII

I did get to stop at Mahar's in Albany today, but only briefly -- sorry, Bill, I didn't get a chance at any WiFi to let you know, we should have done cell #s -- and grabbed a Harpoon IPA. Actually, I had a few sips of Cathy's: I had a Chiswick Bitter (okay; should have waited for cask at Memphis) and a Guinness 250th Anniversary (nice: full, a bit chocolatey, much better body). The 'Poon IPA is indeed more like a pale ale, but it's good: drinkable, fresh, good hop character (not massive, but well-defined). Think of it as a winning jockey next to DIPA's NFL linebacker.

Then I had some Wolaver's IPA, another organic. This was more like an ESB: malty, not a lot of hop character. Okay beer, but I wouldn't think "Oh, an IPA," if someone handed it to me blind.


Stan Hieronymus said...

When you start calling Harpoon IPA and Wolaver's IPA outliers is it because you've immersed yourself in such a range of IPAs and have written that Avery IPA is "not overly bitter?"

Asked from California IPA-land.

Lew Bryson said...


Lew Bryson said...

Wait, you want more than that?

Probably not, but I'll do it anyway. Harpoon IPA has been a topic of this debate for a while; it's not just me. I like the beer, and I'm not saying calling it an IPA is like Miller calling Lite a "fine pilsner beer," but as you know, the category has definitely crept. Evolve or least, evolve the geek bitching and picking and fretting or die; I don't think it's going to hurt Harpoon at all, because very few geeks are drinking it. They're all too busy bitching about it.

Wolaver's? I blame the organics (I hope I don't have to justify that, because I have no idea what I mean). But I do have five more in the six-pack, so I'll give it fresh try tonight.

Matt said...

When it comes to Pale Ales and IPAs, I merely defer to whatever the brewer decides to dub the beer. The line between the two is way too blurry (and mostly inconsequential) to do much else.

I was a geek once, and I quickly tired of it. I can't associate with people that condemn Boston Beer Company on the account of its size or jump down the throat of Garrett Oliver for questioning the usefulness of the term "extreme".

Loren said...

Harpoon IPA, like Red Hook Long Hammer, is what it is. A solid hoppy offering from a very large brewery. Can you ask for more? I guess...

Wolaver's Pale Ale is actually hoppier than their IPA, odd as it seems.

Or are we all hop jaded?

Anonymous said...

Harpoon like a pale ale? I think of it a standard-bearer of American style IPAs. It's not uncommon for some brewers' pale ales to taste hoppier than their IPAs due to the overwhelming malt, bitterness and alcohol. Cricket Hill and Brooklyn come to mind.