Tuesday, May 10, 2011

IPAs — Fremont Brewing Co. vs. Two Beers Brewing Co.

Fremont Brewing Co.
Interurban IPA

ABV 6.2%

Golden yellow.
Floral and citrus hops.
Bright citrus.
Hops vs. Malts
(Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Finish: Moderate grapefruit rind.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):
Good +

Two Beers Brewing Co.

Evolutionary IPA
ABV 6.2%

Reddish amber.
Aroma: Sweet roasted malts, touch of citrus and pine.
Flavor: Honey with lemon and pine.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Hoppy
Finish: Long, burnt, almost ashy bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Good -

Blow by Blow

This battle featured IPAs from two newish Seattle breweries jockeying for a place in a saturated IPA market. We love supporting local breweries and we love IPA, so game on! Joining us for this battle was esteemed macro-canned beer afficionado, Sarah.

One of the key things in an IPA for us is a bright hoppy aroma and the Interurban really delivered with classic floral and citrus notes. The Evolutionary, on the other hand, had more sweet roasted malts in the aroma with a bit of pine and citrus lurking in the background. Honestly, the smell reminded us more of an amber than an IPA.

The flavor in the Evolutionary was more in line with what you’d expect from an IPA with a nice lemon, honey and pine combination. The Interurban was up to the challenge though and countered with some great citrus flavors.

In the finish the Interurban asserted itself and claimed the victory with a moderate grapefruit rind bitterness that Ellen and I liked far more than the long-lasting burnt, ashy hop bitterness of the Evolutionary.

The decision, however, was not unanimous. Sarah chose the Evolutionary as she thought it was smoother as opposed to the mouth-puckering (her words) citrus hoppiness of the Interurban. We think this probably had to do with hop tolerance. Our hop-hungry palates were drawn to the beer that had a bigger hop profile, while her sensitive, hop-deprived palate sought something a bit more mellow. Take note and purchase accordingly, as both are well made and worth buying.

Winner by majority decision: Fremont Brewing Company

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