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#Drink614: Take a breather from IPAs for a beer enlightenment

#Drink614: Take a breather from IPAs for a beer enlightenment

Steve Croyle

Craft beer culture in Columbus developed with West Coast sensibilities. As such, the majority of us love hops, which accounts for the prolific variety of IPAs available today. Sadly, most of them aren’t very good. Oh, they might pack a serious hop punch, but to the discerning beer drinker they are poorly balanced, and some of the hop varieties used taste like onion, garlic, or cat pee. In smaller quantities, when there’s a good balance between the malt and the hops, you might perceive those flavors differently, but in an IPA designed to be a palate wrecker, they concentrate into something unpleasant.

IPAs aren’t evil, but there are some delicious beers you’re missing out on in your quest for humulus lupulus. Fortunately, Columbus Brewing Company offers two quaffable beers that should be on your radar. SFW is a light and refreshing farmhouse style ale that dials back on the hops to allow for a complex grain bill and a delicate hint of coriander to deliver flavor.  

Summer Teeth is CBC’s Summer seasonal that will make it’s 2018 debut soon. Summer Teeth is a simple German Lager that has enough hops to deliver a crisp, dry finish without overwhelming the delicate biscuit notes of the malt.

Wolf’s Ridge made their bones by not getting mired in the great IPA chase. They have a solid IPA available, but outside of the barrel program, they are best known for a superior cream ale and a number of infusions based on it. You would be remiss, however, to pass on Gold Standard. This is a flawless take on the Helles lager. It’s light, refreshing and flavorful, with deft use of classic hops.

Lineage is also good about brewing beers that aren’t all about hops. Their Hall Pass, is a Belgian Abbey Single, which is a take on the beers Abbey and Trappist monks brew for their everyday drinking needs. Hops are there, but not in amounts that overwhelm the subtle notes imparted by the yeast.  

Take a break from the IPAs and explore some of these offerings. You can always go back, and when you do, you’ll find that your palate has rewired itself and those IPAs will be a whole new experience.


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