Bitter Reality Beer Brewing Blog

All grain beer brewing is easier than you may think

August 2019
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Roundhouse Red IPA from Bell’s Brewery

Roundhouse Red IPA by Bell’s Brewery, Bell’s calls it an India Red Ale but either way it is an amazingly complex Red IPA with a complex malty body and plenty of hoppy citrus and fruit flavors to make it one of my favorite craft beers of 2017. Not only have we gone through two 6 packs recently, it inspired me to brew a recent batch of IRA aka India Red Ale but I did mine as a Red Rye IPA with a nice dry British yeast, malty with a lot of hops which is a great summary of Bell’s Roadhouse Red IPA. According to Bell’s Brewery you should taste and smell aromas of pineapple, peach and citrus which I can more than agree with all those great aromas on top of the toasty caramel malt body. This is by no means a light beer as it has a medium body sitting at 7.5% ABV with an IBU of 50 with a great deal of malt and hops flavors with a major of bonus of locally sourced Michigan honey to help create a smooth, dry finish to an amazingly complex red IPA. If you miss out on this great Red IPA this year make sure to grab a 6 pack or two next year as it is usually released around mid to late September.

Roundhouse Red IPA by Bell's

Roundhouse Red IPA by Bell’s

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Liquid Truth Serum IPA by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Sam Calagione and his crew over at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery have been leaders in their creative brewing techniques since the 90’s from Midas Touch, 60 minute IPA, 90 minute IPA, to the elusive 120 minute IPA. Well, Liquid Truth Serum IPA is no exception as the specs on this big and beautiful IPA are modest at 6.8 ABV and 65 IBUs but it feels like much bigger craft brewed IPA. Liquid Truth Serum IPA pours a hazy light golden color with a ton of great hop aromas pouring forth with hints of tropical fruits, citrus, and a hint of pine. I am assuming the hazy color is from all the late hop additions from what I’ve read included lots of late hop additions and whirlpooling with pelletized, powdered, leaf and even liquefied hops from early additions of Warrior, Simcoe, and Calypso with very late additions of Azacca, Mosaic, and Citra. On first sip the resin stands out but is quickly overpowered by the mix of grapefruit, tangerine citrus blended with modest hints of tropical flavors which makes it hard to pick out one primary hop flavor but guava, pineapple, peach, and apricot could easily be found in the mix. If I had to find a negative about this magnificently crafted brew called Liquid Truth Serum IPA it would be that it has a lot going on which can also bee seen as its strength as it is a very complex IPA, and that is the Liquid Truth with or without the Serum. I need to make mention of the art work on the label as it is very creative and impressive. From the recipes to the actual brewing process of craft beer is a true art form and many breweries fail to take advantage of taking that all the way to the label that represents their hard work. I can only hope that Liquid Truth Serum IPA by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery becomes a yearly event so that we all may enjoy this great brew at least once a year.

Liquid Truth Serum IPA

Liquid Truth Serum IPA by Dogfish Head Brewery

 

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Grapefruit Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing Company

Grapefruit Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing Company use to be a bit of a white whale in many states where Ballast Point brews were available but as of lately Grapefruit Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing Company seems to become a great deal more readily available to everyone who loves quality IPAs. For those who enjoy Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing Company and enjoy the great taste of grapefruits, Grapefruit Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing Company is a go to IPA. As you can see they have started moving to cans which is supposedly goof for the environment, chills faster compared to being in a bottle, guarantees no light or oxygen gets in and doesn’t impact the flavor compared to that old metallic some of us remember decades back. Grapefruit Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing Company pours a slightly hazy golden color with a nice lacy head with a ton of grapefruit aroma and slight hints of pine and other citrus aromas. Of course when taking your first sip you can smell the grapefruit and taste it as it hits you tongue but hops help send it over the top with other hints of citrus, creamy sweet caramel flavors and a solid bite of pine and resin. What is really amazing is with 7% ABV and IBU of 70 plus an almost medium mouthfeel this amazing IPA is actually incredibly easy drinking and one of the best IPAs currently available anywhere in the world according to most review sites and I would have to agree. Grapefruit Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing Company should be on every craft beer drinker’s bucket list and it goes without saying it should be in your top 10.Ballast Point Brewing Company makes a lot of great craft brews but in regards to the Scuplin IPA it also comes without the grapefruit although your will still taste and smell it from the hops plus a habanero version that is one of the smoothest IPAs that will light you up with unbelievable amount of heat.

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA

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Metamodern IPA by Oskar Blues Brewery

Metamodern IPA by Oskar Blues Brewery is one of the best of the new IPA’s to hit Florida and it was extremely welcomed as it is an amazing IPA coming in at 6.43% ABV with an IBU of 70. Metamodern IPA by Oskar Blues Brewery has a smooth malty backbone with a blend of 5 hops rarely seen from Enigma, Vic Secret, Ella, Topaz and Galaxy hops to delivering an amzing hop flavor. The Metamodern IPA by Oskar Blues Brewery has tons of great citrus aromas and flavors of passion fruit from the galaxy hops  and supposedly hints of raspberry which I didn’t take note of over the passion fruit and citrus that was almost overwhelming in a good way. As you can see it pours a foggy golden color and although most IPA craft beers seem to lean to tropical fruits this IPA has a ton of citrus blended with the tropical fruit flavors for a unique and amazing IPA that is like no other in direct comparison. Although I have yet to hear anyone mention pine or resin they are there but just enough to give a bit of sharpness to the citrus and tropical flavors. Metamodern IPA by Oskar Blues Brewery is one more great brew that I would highly recommend to any hop head.

Metamodern IPA by Oskar Blues Brewery

Metamodern IPA by Oskar Blues Brewery

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Tocobaga Red Ale by Cigar City Brewing

First I must apologize as I’ve always try to stay non-bias but I must state up front I hold Tocobaga Red Ale by Cigar City Brewing as one of my favorite brews since I discovered it last year. If you are open to a red pale ales then you must try Tocobaga Red Ale by Cigar City Brewing. It is listed as an amber style by many people but if you’ve had a chance to try this great tasting and very high quality beer then you know it is more of a red pale ale or even a red ipa in comparison. Although this beer is listed by Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa, Florida as a year round brew I’ve only been able to acquire it during the early fall over the past two years. Supposedly this is a very expensive brew and recently due to costs it has been reduced from a 6 pack to a 4 pack to allow for a profit margin which I won’t hold against Cigar City as I know the brewer’s margins are slim compared to the retailers and distributors who usually have much higher margins on craft brews. Getting back to the brew itself this is a very smooth red ale kicking up 7.2 ABV and a 75 IBU but with the great malty backbone it almost plays down the 75 IBU with a more pale ale taste of a much lower IBU. I can find a ton of IPAs and pale ales all day but finding a red ale IPA is a bit less common and this is one of the best if not the best in that twist of styles. It has a rich malty caramel and toffee flavors with hints of biscuit malts then the citrus smells are followed with the flavors of citrus and hints of pine from the large amounts of citra hops that have been added to the brewing process. If I had to list my top 10 favorite brews I’d have to list Tocobaga Red Ale by Cigar City Brewing and #1 favorite red ale.

Tocobaga Red Ale by Cigar City Brewing

Tocobaga Red Ale by Cigar City Brewing

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