Big Rock Co-op Classic India Pale Ale

Reviewed by on July 27, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Big Rock Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: July 26, 2016

  • Best Before: Enjoy by December 12, 2016

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: American IPA

  • Rating: OKAY

The Review

Big Rock makes this, and a few other similar contract offerings for the Co-op chain of liquor stores in Calgary and the surrounding area.  So – what the hell does ‘batch brewed’ even mean?  Are there other ways of doing it?

This 355ml can pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and mildly bubbly off-white head, which leaves some natural land-bridge lace around the glass as it quickly sinks away.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, muddled light orchard fruit (cantaloupe?), brown sugar, and some very weak leafy, piney, and floral green hop bitters.  The taste is grainy and bready caramel malt, indistinct citrus flesh, some further melon-esque fruitiness, and more very tame leafy, weedy, and floral hop bitterness.  The carbonation is adequate for its support job (and nothing else) via its plain-Jane frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, with a small airy creaminess settling in from the outset.  It finishes well off-dry, all of that caramel still looking for suitable place to happen.

Overall, this is more of a slightly hoppy Canadian amber ale than anything particularly IPA-like.  Easy enough to drink, inexpensive, and tasty in its own right, I suppose, but if you’re looking for a robustly hoppy and/or bitter brew more true to style, you’d best be searching elsewhere, I’m afraid.

Brady White

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