Thursday, January 1, 2015

Various Styles — Bridgport Trilogy Series

Bridgeport Brewing
Crystal Dry Hopped
Pale Ale
ABV 5.2%

Bridgeport Brewing
Aussie Salute IPA
ABV 5.8%

Bridgeport Brewing
Brewers' Class
(Dry-Hopped Session Brown Ale)
ABV 5%

The first time we heard about the Bridgeport Trilogy series we knew it was destined for a Bottle Battle. First a little background: The trilogy series was brewed to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Bridgeport Brewing. Each beer represents a decade of their brewing history with #1 highlighting one of the classic aroma hops that defined northwest craft beer, #2 celebrating the IPA style (featuring Australian hops since the brewer of the original Bridgeport IPA was Australian) that exploded during their second decade of operation, and #3 focusing on the future with a collaboration beer created with the help of students from the Oregon State University Fermentation Science Program. Great concept, great execution, but when all is said and done what really matters is which one tastes the best. That's where we come in. This tasting also featured my parents as guest tasters and was done blind as usual.

Beer #1 (Crystal Dry-Hopped Pale Ale) was an orangish gold and had a floral and citrus aroma along with some grain. It had a thin body with a grapefruit character that bordered on cleaning solution. It finished with more citrus and a mild bitterness.

Beer #2 (Aussie Salute IPA) was a golden yellow with a huge aroma of tropical fruit and peach jolly rancher. The flavor continued with the same fruity characteristics to go along with a malty and sweet medium body. The finish was dominated by a lingering citrus peel bitterness.

Beer #3 (Brewers' Class) was reddish brown with dried fruit, roasted malts and alcohol on the nose. It was thin-bodied with a pronounced roasted grain character in the flavor. The finish was also mostly roasty and a bit flat and abrupt with no bitterness at all.

We all agreed that #2 was the best. The aroma was fantastic and it found a nice hop/malt balance with a not-too-aggressively bitter finish — all hallmarks of a good IPA in our opinion. Second place was a tie, with me and my mom choosing the #1 and Ellen and my dad going with #3. Neither were all that great in my opinion, with #1 having too much of that grainy quality I associate with macro-lagers and #3 tasting like a thin amber/brown hybrid that, despite dry-hopping, had almost no hop character at all.

Turns out that Bridgeport had a voting among fans to determine which beer was the best and #1 was the overwhelming favorite. That wasn't too surprising given that #1 would most certainly qualify as a familiar style for the typical northwest palate. Thanks to Bridgeport for being craft beer pioneers. Here's to another 30 years! 
Unanimous decision: Aussie Salute

No comments:

Post a Comment