Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Imperial IPAs — Left Coast Brewing vs. High Water Brewing

Left Coast Brewing
Hop Juice
Double IPA
ABV 9.7%

High Water Brewing
Hop Logic
Imperial IPA 
ABV 9.5%
Two California beers squared off in this battle. Hop Juice hails from Left Coast brewing in southern California while Hop Logic represents High Water Brewing in Chico. Both beers claim to use a mixture of five different hops which is interesting, but perhaps more interesting is who made a better beer with all those hops. 

Beer #1 (High Water Brewing Hop Logic) was a clear orangish-brown with earthy, spicy hops coming through on the nose. It had a rich, almost creamy, full-bodied texture with flavors of tropical fruit. The finish was deep honey with a moderate bitterness and some floral hops.

Beer #2 (Left Coast Brewing Hop Juice) was a hazy pinkish-brown. The aroma was very fruity, bordering on Fruit Loops. Flavor continued with the fruitiness along with lots of honey. The finish was sweet followed by an intense and long-lasting bitterness.

Not knowing either of these breweries very well I guessed which was which based on the bottles alone. The Left Coast's nice, screen-printed bottle led me to believe that their beer would be the cleaner, clearer, more polished beverage so I guessed it was Beer #1. Wrong. Turns out that the hazy, malty and overly bitter beer was from Left Coast. High Water Brewing on the other hand, despite having an inferior label, had a much superior beer. It was an easy decision for both of us as the Hop Logic is a really, really good Imperial IPA. So good, in fact, that we will most certainly seek it out again in the future. If you like Imperial IPAs we suggest you do the same.  

Unanimous decision: High Water Brewing Hop Logic