There seems to be a trend in craft beer these days. Okay, there always seems to be some type of trend in craft beer but one that I see with greater frequency from the larger craft breweries is the releasing of so- called session beers: Beer products brewed to be a little less potent and easier- drinking than the standard versions of the style. One company to throw its hat in the session beer ring lately is Goose Island and its Endless IPA. Let’s take a look:
Style: American IPA
Alcohol Content: 5 percent by volume
Bitterness Rating: 35 IBU
Goose Island Endless IPA pours to a light golden color and a crystal clear, see- through body. The beer has a nose of grapefruit, floral, and light spice/pine and its rather
generous head of foam eventually settles, leaving lacing behind as you consume.
This beer has a taste that emphasizes hops, as expected, but not overwhelmingly so. The flavor of mild grapefruit, orange, and citrus is matched almost equally with the flavors of caramel and light malts. The finish of the ale leaves behind a flavor more like tropical fruit than merely citrus and the light to medium body makes it easy- drinking and pleasant.
Goose Island Endless IPA is the latest session beer offering in a growing list of breweries offering similar, toned- down versions of their fuller products. This session beer is, well, pushing it a little bit to call itself a session brew, but it is milder than Goose Island IPA and it is more easy- drinking. This seems to have become the standard in session beers as of late and everyone may have to get used to this fact and change the way they define session beer.
This IPA does pack a nice level of hop character, as any IPA should. The hops used in Goose Island Endless IPA are grown at Bonners Ferry, Idaho’s Elk Mountain Farms. This farm operation has been supplying Goose Island with hops for many years and the early- picked Amarillo hops used in this beer impart a distinct flavor. The citrus/tropical fruit/pine taste is interesting and- dare I say- refreshing especially for a style (IPA) not normally associated with being very user- friendly.
Session beers seem to be trending at the moment and Goose Island Endless IPA is a nice, solid entry in this growing field. Okay, calling it a session beer might be pushing it, at least by the standards of the past, but this certainly a more agreeable version of an IPA that is lower in alcohol and bitterness than the standard IPA and broader in its appeal.
Rating: 7 cheers out of 10