Monday, June 19th, 2017

Craft Beer Crosscut 6.19.17: A Flight of Dank

Ron Swarner

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Beer-Flights-Logo-no-wordsWe’ve talked IPA before, but here’s a quick history: the style, known full-length as India Pale Ale, developed out of British necessity to provide their boys on the ground in India with beer that didn’t go bad during the long boat voyage from back home. They stuffed the brews full of hops, which both acted as a preservative as lent the drinks a nice bitter kick. While English IPAs tend to be a balance of malt and hops, U.S. versions land decidedly on the hoppy side of the teeter totter. For today’s craft beer flight we’re concentrating on dank IPAs. Some people like bud, some people like beer, and some like both. Those who are a connoisseur of both have taken to attributing the term “dank,” a term that means pungent, funky and odoriferous, to both good weed and very hoppy IPAs. Hops and marijuana both contain terpenoids, compounds that give the plants similar characteristics. In fact, both fall into the taxonomic family Cannabaceae, so it follows that you could create a fairly stinky beer with the right treatment of the right hops. Hops don’t get you high, but in smell, taste and appearance, they often feel just about as … dank. Dude, enjoy our Craft Beer Crosscut 6.19.17: A Flight of Dank.

Alpine-Windows-UP-IPA-TacomaAlpine Windows UP IPA

7% ABV, 41 IBU

After Green Flash Brewing’s lupulin lab grabbed the production reigns of several Alpine beers, the mad IPA scientists brewed even more amazing hopped-up masterpieces such as Hop Boxed, which was Alpine’s Duet’s malt bill, but instead of Simcoe and Amarillo hops, scientists used Citra and Mosaic. Alpine changed the name of Hop Boxed to Windows Up, but the mix of Citra and Mosaic still hold the window up for a soft and bitter room. Alpine describes it as falling squarely under the “dank” category. The dank base is complementary to the bitterness instead of balancing with a counterpunch. Windows Up is an IPA of two profiles that truly meets in the middle. With an aromatic floral and orange nose, the flavor begins soft on the mouth with a green meets papaya-citrus wash over the tongue that breaks away in a piney punch that leads to a bitter finish.

Ballast-Point-Sculpin-IPA-Tacoma

Ninkasi-Maiden-The-Shade-TacomaNinkasi Maiden The Shade

6.8% ABV, 72 IBU

Ninkasi Brewing Company unveils a new look for its summer seasonal Maiden the Shade Summer IPA. The updated look of this beer follows the evolution of Ninkasi’s branding, displaying a more hand-illustrated design created by its in-house team of artists. First brewed in 2009, this IPA captures a complex hop profile — bold, dank and bursting with floral notes — and an exceptional drinkability. It combines a crisp malt base consisting of 2-Row Pale, Vienna, and Flaked Barley with a vivacious array of Northwest hops — Summit, Centennial, Simcoe, Columbus, Crystal, Palisade, Amarillo and Magnum — for aroma of pot, pine, grapefruit and tropical fruit followed by pine, grapefruit rind, mango, and roasted malt flavors.

Dystopian-State-MK-Ultra-West-Coast-Dank-IPA-TacomaDystopian State MK Ultra West Coast Dank IPA

6.6% ABV, 74 IBU

Dystopian State Brewing invited fellow Tacoma brewery Wingman Brewers to brew a dank West Coast IPA at their facility in the Triangle District. And, that they did. Brewed with loads of Eureka!, Denali and Cryo Mosaic hops, you can taste Wingman’s Pocket Aces with big citrus flavors and aromas of Denali hops, while balancing that citrus with the resin and piney flavors and aromas of Eureka. Together with the Cryo Mosaic purified lupulin powder containing most of the resin compounds and aromatic oils derived directly from whole hop flowers, this craft beer is dankity, dankity, dank. delicious!

Green-Flash-West-Coast-IPA-TacomaGreen Flash West Coast IPA

8.1% ABV, 95 IBU

So much of the good, green stuff is packed into Green Flash’s West Coast IPA that you’ll find it overwhelming if you haven’t prepared yourself. Imagine licking a pine sapling on a spring day in a grassy meadow with your friend blowing weed smoke in your face. Seriously, West Coast is a bit like cramming fistfuls of freshly mowed grass into your gob due to a “menagerie of hops” layered throughout the brewing process including Simcoe (to impart a unique fruitiness and grapefruit zest), Columbus (for strong hop pungency), Centennial (for pine and citrus notes), and Cascade (for floral aroma). As the brewery puts it, it is a “multi-dimensional hop experience.” And they ain’t lying. It’s just over 8 percent ABV, with a malt body, resinous, hoppy and dank.

Stone-Ruination-2.0-IPA-TacomaStone Ruination 2.0 IPA

8.5% ABV, 100+ IBU

Filling our last taster glass is Stone Brewing’s Ruination 2.0, a craft beer that pours a dark gold, just on the edge of orange. The aroma is immediately super dank and resinous, piney, just West Coast classic turned up to 11, before giving way to grapefruit and orange fruit notes and grass. This beer wears its 100+ IBUs, with Magnum and Nugget hops providing a hefty dose of standout bitterness. Citra, Simcoe and Azacca hops provide the bountiful tropical fruit and resinous pine aromas. Combined, the rich tapestry of hops results in a taste profile rife with citrus, melon and tropical fruit flavors.

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