It’s been a super busy day with a lot of meetings at work. Tonight, my wife is out at a girls’ night wine party. My friend Betty sent this beer a few weeks ago (along with a note encouraging me to come back out to Portland for a visit). The beer commemorates the opening of the Orange line for Portland’s Tri Met train and so Betty included a brochure explaining it.
The bottle says, “What happens when Oregon’s oldest craft brewery pays tribute to Portland’s newest bridge? You get this special release White IPA. Taking cues from the Tilikum Crossing, this beer has a hazy white color and is brewed with lemondrop hops to deliver a citrusy aroma. And because the bridge will carry the MAX’s Orange line light rail, we threw in a little orange peel for Flavor. Bridge of the people, meet your official beer of the people.”
Location: Poured into a large Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL
Numbers: 6% ABV, 30 IBUs, 12.8 OG, ~180 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s a very pale yellow color, and slightly hazy. The head is very white and fluffy with incredible retention and lacing. The aroma is light and lemony with a hint of orange.
Taste & Feel: The body is light and the mouthfeel is lightly crisp. The flavor up front is light and lemony with hints of light grain. In the middle, the lemon and grainy flavors grow in sweetness. There’s a little bit of bitterness that comes in the finish, but it’s mostly a lemongrass like flavor with some orange flavors in the back. The aftertaste is lightly bitter and almost all lemony-grainy flavor.
Food Pairing: With the lemony flavors in this beer I would definitely pair this with something very light, like a white fish or summer salad.
Overall Impression: This beer isn’t necessarily what I’d call citrusy, because the lemon flavors that dominate are muted and are a little bit grainy and earthy. It’s a lighter summer beer, and as a “white IPA” it’s nowhere near as bitter as you’d expect from an IPA in hop country. I appreciated the complexity of the lemony, grainy, and orange flavors, but it would be much better on a hot summer day instead of a cool fall evening like this one.