Disclosure: This review may have been compensated with goods and/or services, but all opinions are 100 percent those of Great Beer Now.
American IPA is the top selling craft beer style in the United States and because it is highly sought- after, craft beer fans can find at least one IPA at most any brewery they visit, anyplace in the country. The West Coast IPA is arguably the most popular IPA version and because of this, it has been duplicated and replicated throughout the rest of the United States. Many of these west coast styles offer similar appearances and flavors, but there are some that deviate slightly from the norm. Such is the case with Brimstone American IPA, a west coast IPA brewed by Church Street Brewing in Itasca, Illinois.
Pour Me a Glass
Brimstone American IPA pours to a crystal clear body that is orange/gold in hue. There is little in the way of foam and the nose on the beer is one of orange, spice, and caramelized malt.
Moving to the flavor, this beer serves up tastes of mixed citrus, with grapefruit and tangerine vying for your attention. There is also a tropical fruit twist, with tastes like papaya and pineapple. An interesting herbal tea flavor caps off the tasting experience, ending with dry hop finish.
Brimstone American IPA contains 6.8 percent alcohol by volume and 80 IBU of bitterness. Both figures are typical of the style, even though the bitterness seems like it should be a little less than 80 IBU.
IPA are a ubiquitous beer style so when I learned that I had a chance to sample Brimstone IPA, courtesy of Velour Imports and its Local Goes Global campaign, I wasn’t as excited as I should be. Here at Great Beer Now, we love to try new products and voice our opinions, but American IPA is now so commonplace- and some would say overdone- that it’s often difficult to get excited. With so many from which to choose and such easy availability, IPA are not as mysterious as they were and they often offer non- distinctive flavor profiles.
Nevertheless, a new beer is a new beer so I opened my first of two bottles of Brimstone IPA and hoped for the best. Yes, it does have a nose similar to other West Coast IPA and the color is much like the rest, but what about the flavor? Would Brimstone IPA turn out to be just another ho- hum American IPA with flavors of citrus and spice, ready to join the ranks of thousands of other American IPA that came before it?
Well, I am happy to report that Brimstone IPA is not like the rest of the saturated American IPA market. It does serve up flavors of citrus, but what struck me are the underlying herbal tea notes. At first, I couldn’t quite tell what I was tasting, but I knew it was something different. A quick jog of the memory bank took me back to another IPA I had tried some time ago with similar characteristics. Brimstone was like that one, which was also a standout for the same reason: It was unlike the other American IPA so common in today’s market. The more I sipped on my glass of Brimstone IPA, the more I liked it and the more I appreciated what the folks at Church Street had managed to pull off.
American IPA is the most popular type of craft beer by far and its widespread appeal with craft beer drinkers has led breweries to respond in kind, brewing IPA with abandon and often replicating well- known styles and brands already popular with the public. Brimstone IPA from Church Street Brewing is a west coast style IPA with a tasty twist and one deserving of your time and attention. It would be nice if the head of foam was a little more robust and the nose longer- lasting, but this is still a solid American IPA and one worth seeking out.
Rating: 8 Cheers out of 10