Tuesday, November 4, 2014

IPAs — Breakside vs. New Belgium/Odell

Feel Good Flagship IPA
ABV 6.8%

New Belgium/Odell 
(American Pale Ale) 
ABV 6.75% 

In case you hadn't heard, Breakside Brewery in Portland, Oregon just won "Best American Style IPA" at the Great American Beer Festival. Being big IPA fans ourselves, we thought it was our duty to feature this award-winning beer in a battle to see just how it stacks up. Its opponent was an "American Pale Ale" collaboration from two well known Colorado breweries. Tasting was done blind as usual.

Beer #1 (FOCOllaboration) was clear golden orange with Nilla wafers and piny hops in the aroma. It had a very thin body and a watery pineapple juice flavor. The finish was watery and thin as well with just a touch of bitterness.

Beer #2 (Breakside) was bright brownish orange with a blast of grapefruit and citrus salad in the aroma. The flavor continued along the citrus theme with a great balance of malty sweetness. The finish featured a pleasant mild to moderate citrus peel bitterness.

This wasn't even close as Breakside proved that it is certainly worthy of its accolades. We love grapefruity IPAs and the Feel Good Flagship had that whole citrus thing nailed. Add to that a solid malt presence and you get a truly stellar IPA in our opinion. Sadly, the FOCOllaboration (by the way the FOCO is short for Fort Collins) was not much of an opponent. The lack of body really doomed the beer from the start. "Watery" is never an adjective you want to use to describe a beer but that is exactly how it came across to both of us. Just goes to show that although flavor and aroma are certainly key parts of a beer, body and mouthfeel also play an important role in a well made beer.

Congrats again to Breakside on a delicious IPA! Fortunately it is readily available in southern Oregon so you'll likely find a bottle or two in our fridge more often than not.

Unanimous decision: Breakside Feel Good Flagship IPA