Brewsters Curly Horse IPA

Reviewed by on September 3, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Brewsters Brewing Company

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: September 2, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American IPA

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

A regular on-tap American-style IPA was a long time coming to Alberta – but now Brewsters offers this, on draft and in take-away bottles.  It’s dry hopped twice – once in the fermentation vessel and again in the maturation tank, according to the brewery, and comes in at 55 IBU. A different beer than their previous seasonal IPA, which, even by their own admission, was much more British in style.

This 500ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper amber hue, with one flabby finger of somewhat puffy, foamy, and fairly creamy off-white head, which settles evenly, leaving a wall of striated painted lace around the glass – sure looks like a proper IPA to me.

It smells of grapefruit and bitter orange citrus, pine needles, biscuity caramel malt, and a further herbal, leafy, and kind of perfumed bitterness. The taste starts out leaning more towards the caramel/toffee malt, until the lemon and orange citrus peel and dewy pine resin acridity quickly catches up, all underpinned by a twinge of estery alcohol warming. The carbonation is moderate, and mostly unobtrusive (I did initially burp a bit, for what it’s worth), the body a solid middleweight, borderline smooth, and maybe a bit sticky. It finishes fairly clean, with a blend of the now usual suspects – semi-sweet malt and bitter piney, floral hops.

I have oft bemoaned our lack of the simple pleasure that all cities in the U.S., and a few others in Canada, afford their hop-minded denizens: the ability to walk into one’s local brewpub, and call for a pint of a real American IPA (and perhaps another and another). Now, finally, Brewsters has come through – a well balanced West Coast IPA – multifaceted, challenging hops, and a decent malt backbone to boot.  Count this particular hophead satisfied.

Brady White

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