Saturday, April 16, 2011

No Flash in the Pan

We've had a lot of west coast breweries come to town the past three years, Stone being one of the latest. Lagunitas, Moylans, Ballast Point... Deschutes will be making its arrival soon, but there's no appearance I'm looking forward to more than Green Flash - and I'm not talking about the split-second optical phenomenon. This one will hopefully be in Missouri to stay.

I'll never forget my first Green Flash Experience. I was in Richmond, VA, for work and was catching up on some workflow diagrams at the bar. It was "glass night" (buy the beer, keep the glass) for Magic Hat Lucky Kat IPA. I'd never had a Magic Hat beer at the time, and was excited to try its IPA. Ordered one up and was pleased but not thrilled about it. I do still have the glass though - a standard 16oz pint glass that pretty much sums up the beer - not bad, not exciting, and pretty much is what it's supposed to be. (I know, you're thinking, "where can I get this incredible beer??")

I wanted another IPA and was having a hard time deciding between a Moylander and something else. The bartender asked if I'd ever had the Green Flash West Coast IPA. Skeptical, I asked if it was any good. He said, "do you like hoppy?" Yes, I replied. Little did I realize he was asking, "do you like HOPPY?"

And there it appeared before me, in all its grapefruity, piney, resiny splendor, the bitter liquid from San Diego, California that encapsulates all that defines a "West Coast" IPA. Simcoe, Columbus, and Cascade are quickly becoming my favorite hop combo for IPAs. Toss some Centennial in there, and you get WCIPA. Yeah, I know it's not Pliny the Elder (not fair, that's a double IPA), but it's awfully damn close.

And, soon, much easier to get. I learned back in January that Green Flash would begin distribution to Missouri starting this coming summer. I'd say that little tidbit made my day, but I'm actually still excited about it. It made my winter, my spring, and will probably make my summer as well. They make several beers, including a Hop Head Red, which I also love, and a Belgian IPA named Le Freak. Lest you think they only do IPAs, they make several other styles including a Saison and a Belgian Strong Dark.

WCIPA is a fantastic beer that is something to experience and hold as a benchmark for others. This beer is IPA. And will be in Missouri this summer.

Specs -
95 IBUs
7% ABV
OG: 1.070ish
FG: 1.015ish

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