Friday, August 16, 2013

Beer of the Week (Vol. CLXXXIII)

Another edition of Beer of the Week sponsored as always by the solid folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who have the core knowledge to help you find the wine, whiskey, and beer you need to fill any void.

In the past, I’ve noted my passion for the beers of summer. There’s nothing better on a hot summer day than a zesty wheat beer popping with flavors of fruit and spices. Unfortunately, it seems like there is a trend where more and more brewers are taking a tamer, smoother path with their summer offerings. These summer beers are usually lighter and more drinkable. While there’s certainly no shame in these crisp and refreshing thirst quenchers, they often lack flavor and seem hollow. They may look great in the glass, but there’s just not enough there there.

So it always comes as a welcome surprise when I come across a summer beer that that is befitting the season, but isn’t afraid to bring it something to the taste table. A beer such as Chainbreaker White IPA from Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery:

Deschutes is taking you into the next beer frontier. Brewed with wheat and pilsner malt; this IPA displays beautiful citrus aromas from Cascade and Citra hops that meld with the esters of Belgian yeast. Think thirst quenching hopped-up wit beer with enough IBUs to warrant the IPA name.

Technically, Chainbreaker IPA is a year round offering so it’s not solely a summer beer. However, it’s definitely the season that suits it best.

Six-pack of 12oz brown bottles retails for $8.99. Label has a soft yellow background and features a picture of the front wheel of a bike on a mountain trail framed by a busted chain.

STYLE: Belgian IPA


COLOR (0-2): Golden orange and cloudy. 2

AROMA (0-2): Lemony fresh. 2

HEAD (0-2): Bright white color, dense with good volume. 2

TASTE (0-5): Strong citrus flavors of grapefruit, lemon, orange, and a little mango up front followed by wheat, yeast, and spices. The body is light and the feel is watery. The finish is clean and crisp and it is very drinkable. 4

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Lasting and smooth. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Chainbreaker IPA is a summer beer that delivers both refreshment and flavor. It’s probably more skewed toward being a wheat than an IPA. Whatever you call it, the taste combination is quite delicious. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 16