BridgePort Brewing Co.: India Pale Ale

I came upon this fine IPA this evening while restocking my beer supply at my local Bevmo. I had never heard of the brewery, but when I saw it was from Portland, Oregon, I figured it could not be bad. So I picked up a 6-pack and immediately threw one in the fridge when I got home.

Bridgeport is Oregon's oldest craft brewery and after tasting their IPA, I can see why they have made it so long.

The nose is full of citrus and floral notes, just as would be expected for an IPA, but is very well balanced. It is reminiscent of a spring day walking through a garden with flowers abloom. The pour is perfect, just the right carbonation. The taste complex, due in part to the blend of five varieties of hops used in the brewing process. However, it is well balanced such that the hops are not over-powering making the BridgePort IPA a beer capable of being consumed by even the non-hopheads. Due to the fermentation process, the beer is similar to champagne in that it is full of effervescence. This nice addition provides a nice tingle on the tongue.

The Bridgeport IPA comes in with 50 IBUs, putting it right in the middle of the range for a standard IPA. But, on the other hand, the alcohol content is 5.5%, which is a bit low for an IPA. But that is alright, given the magnificent taste of this well prepared, bottle conditioned IPA. With all of that said, I would rank this IPA somewhere below the 60 Minute IPA but far above the standards like Sierra Nevada . . . more on the lines of Flying Dog's IPA or Russian River's Blind Pig. I am glad that I have 5 more to enjoy.

The bottom line: It is not a 60 Minute, but it sure comes close.

Return to Civilization

The lack of posts in the recent weeks was a direct result of my summer vacation. Since I was unable to bring a computer on my trip (not much one can do with a computer in the wilderness of Colorado and nor was I about to carry any more weight on my back), I was unable to make any posts. But, have no fear, I tried numerous beers from 5 different brewpubs in Durango, Dillon, and Frisco, Colorado and will be making posts in the coming days with all the details.

Stay tuned . . .

North Coast Brewing Co.: Old Plowshare

The Old Plowshare is an organic stout brewed by the folks at North Coast Brewing Co. in Fort Bragg, California. It is one of two organic beers produced at their facility (the other being the Cru D'Or, an organic Belgian style ale). I picked this one up on a short trip to Sin City back in March and finally had the privilege to enjoy it last night. Why did it take so long? Well, as you are likely already aware, hops are my thing . . . the Old Plowshare is far from the hoppy IPAs and IIPAs. But, that does not mean that we don't have a fantastic beer on our hands here.

The Old Plowshare is a Celtic-style stout. Immediately upon pouring, one notices the rich color that arises from the intensely roasted malts. These malts also provide the beer with a fantastic aroma . . . one comprised of soft nutty notes and overall roasted malt. The color is intense and that is only complimented by the intense aroma.

The taste buds get what they are after with this stout (made solely from water, organic malt, hops, and yeast), that being a smooth, yet rich, malty stout. It is delightful. Interestingly enough, the Old Plowshare has only 27 IBUs, which is somewhat low in my opinion for a stout (for example, Guinness is more on the order of 35-40 IBUs). Don't let that fool you though because by having slightly less hops than the typical stout, you get a more full-bodied experience from the malts.

I chose to drink this one at about 40°F . . . I am willing to be that if you let it warm up a bit, the malty flavors will protrude even more. I will give this a try when I pick another one up (since it seems to be wildly available now, at least in California). Overall though, its a great beer to enjoy on a summer day, with your feet kicked up, and a book open in your lap.

The bottom line: The Old Plowshare is the new black.