Craft Beer Preview: Green Flash West Coast IPA

Craft Beer Preview: Green Flash West Coast IPA
Pouring a Green Flash West Coast IPA. Photo by Mark McDermott

I’ve been getting more beers sent to my by the brewers for my comment. So I need to get a few more of them written up so I can make sure to do some local beers as well.

From Green Flash Brewing Co. of San Diego comes their flagship West Coast IPA. Green Flash was started in 2002 by Mike and Lisa Hinkley. Their West Coast IPA came out in 2005 with the aim of becoming an exemplar of that style: heavy with floral and fruity West Coast hops against a light malt background. Originally it was brewed at 7.3% abv, using Simcoe,  Columbus, Centennial and Cascade hops. In 2014 it was bumped to 8.1% abv and 95 IBU, putting it in the Imperial/Double IPA category. I had the original version in 2010, too bad it’s too long ago to say how it compares to today’s version.

Right under the cap there's a big nose or grassy, fresh hops, which will probably only be there for a fresh bottle. It pours a deep amber color under a thick, foamy head with a bit of hop leaf here and there.

The taste is, true to its style, a big hit of citrus and pine needles. There is some  strong bitterness, of course, but its matched with some malt sweetness, making it pretty drinkable, even to people who might not be hopheads. The alcohol isnot noticeable under all those hops, making this one very easy to drink.

As far as food goes, most would recommend a strong IPA with roast or cured meats, with the idea that strong roast flavors or salt will play off the hops. I'd also put in for some strong, hard cheeses and cooked sausage.

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    Mark McDermott

    Writer, trivia maven, fan of many things. I thought to learn all there is to know about beer as a way to stay interested in learning. It is my pleasure to bring Chicago's craft beer scene to you.

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