Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Craft Beer Crosscut 5.13.17: A Flight of Equinox

Ron Swarner


Peaks-and-Pints-Tacoma-Beer-FlightDeveloped by The Hop Breeding Company, a joint venture between John I Haas and the Select Botanicals Group, and originally planted in Toppenish, Washington, Ekuanot — aka Equinox HBC 366 — features pronounced aroma characteristics and extremely high oil content. This variety bursts out of the spring soil in vibrant yellow and gradually matures to a deep green color by fall harvest. With descriptors such as lemon, lime, papayas, apples, cherries, mango, citrus and pine, it’s not surprising Ekuanot was quickly embraced by brewers the world over when it hit the market in 2014. Alongside these typical tropical and fruity descriptors that normally accompany recent hops, Equinox has a distinctive flavor note to mark its fame: green pepper, if green peppers were a sweet juicy fruit rather than a savory vegetable. Peaks and Pints selected five craft beers brewed with Equinox for our beer flight today: Craft Beer Crosscut 5.13.17: A Flight of Equinox.

Breakside-La-Tormenta-tacomaBreakside La Tormenta

7% ABV, 22 IBU

This Breakside Brewery 2016 dry-hopped sour is slightly sourer than previous editions with Equinox, Citra and El Dorado hops with a touch of Mosaic. Tormenta is Spanish for “storm,” and a whirlwind of flavors bounce off the taste buds: juicy pineapple, mango, fresh-mown grass, mint, guava, grapefruit and, of course, heavy funk. Sour and hop notes pile atop each other, creating a super cohesive swallow.

pFriem-Blonde-IPA-TacomapFriem Blonde IPA

6.25% ABV, 50 IBU

pFriem Family Brewers‘ Blonde IPA is a hybrid between a West Coast IPA and a German pilsner. Showcasing the dank hoppiness of an IPA, while being bright, blonde and crisp like a pilsner. Brewed with Equinox, Chinook, Cascade and Simcoe hops, this IPA hits the noise with mango, tangerine, and lime zest. Flavors of mild candied fruit, light sweetened grapefruit and mellow toasted malts hit the tongue in almost a creamy fashion. Finishes crisp, clean, with a touch of grapefruit rind.

Pacific-Brewing-&-Malting-Annex-IPA-Series-No-8-TacomaPacific Brewing & Malting Annex IPA Series No. 8

7% ABV

Named after the building in which it’s brewed, Annex IPA is a series of experimental India Pale Ales utilizing different hops each time Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. brews. Also known as Sammy Simcoe, Annex IPA No. 8 beat out 12 other Tacoma area IPAs to grab the champion trophy at the Parkway Tavern’s Annual IPA Invitation in 2016. Notes of citrus, pine, and melon from Simcoe and Equinox hops are balanced with a light malt backbone.

Ghostfish-Peak-Buster-Double-IPA-TacomaGhostfish Peak Buster Double IPA

9.5% ABV, 100+ IBU

Ghostfish Brewing piled a mountain of Equinox, Azacca, Centennial, and Summit hops on a heavy foundation of millet and buckwheat malts, then blew it sky-high with raw cane sugar. With over-the-top hop flavors of pine and passionfruit and a surprising stone-dry finish, bitterness is medium but it lingers for a loooong time. If you like flavor profile of Elysian’s Space Dust, you will greatly appreciate Ghostfish Peak Buster Double IPA.

Bear-Republic-Fastback-Racer-Double-IPA-TacomaBear Republic Fastback Racer Double IPA

10.4% ABV, 100+ IBU

Bear Republic’s Fastback Racer pours a pretty bright and orange and clear with a lovely bit of foam on the top with nice bubbling to it. A cross of pine and orange peel greets the nose. Then, the full-throttle hoppiness hits with intense bitterness and massive hop additions of Citra and Ekuanot. This giant of a beer is revved to the limit on a chassis of Rye, Munich, and light caramel malts. Extremely hop forward and drinkable, the tropical and citrusy notes of this beer shine through.