Brewview#16: West Coast Style IPA by 12 Gates Brewing Company

Alright friends, after some busy times in my life I am glad to say I’ve found time to do another Brewview. This is one I am particularly excited about because it will be my first from 12 Gates and happens to be one of my favorites by them! Ironically, in a few days I will be heading over to the brewery itself for a date night. And I’m hoping if it pans out appropriately I will be able another onsite Brewview. Fingers crossed! But, back to the one at hand. So I am sure it is quite obvious about what style of IPA today’s beer is, well with the name and all, a West Coast IPA. Now there are quite a few styles of IPAs out there and each one has certain characteristics depending upon the brewing process. For West Coast IPAs, they are highly noted for their use of hops and a somewhat hop dominance. With that being said there is still a balance between malts and hops, but it’s definitely heavier in the hop arena. With this hop dominance comes a coinciding aroma of citrus and tropical fruit. As well as flavors ranging from orange to pineapple to papaya.  I am guessing Citra hops are used quite often, speaking from my experiences. To top it all off, the approximate ABV is 6-8%.

Let’s see how 12 Gates does with the West Coast Style IPA.

The Beer: West Coast Style IPA by 12 Gates Brewing Company

ABV:6.7% IBU: 69

Hop Profile: Warrior

Citra

Dry Hopped with Citra and Florida grapefruit peels

Malt Profile: German Pale and Pilsner

Crystal

Flaked Oats

Victory

I’ve been quite excited all day to do this Brewview and my anticipation is building!

Without further ado, let’s crack this can and jump right in. By the time I hear the can cracking I am already smelling some delicious mouth watering aromas! Exactly what I expected with the Citra hops, this all around tropical fruit smell. Specifically speaking I am getting  citrus, grapefruit and mango aromas. Which is a great build up for what is to come. Hmmm! Yup, just a nice, clean, and crisp tropical aroma. As simple as it gets,  an excellent use of the Citra hops. Though tribute must be paid to the Warrior hops, as they are known for their strong bittering ability, but also for their coinciding ability to remain out of the way for the aromas. Great choice by 12 Gates.

The aromas just get stronger as you pour the beer into a glass, almost filling the atmosphere around you. I’ve had plenty of beers that you can smell from a good foot away, West Coast is definitely on that list. Going from can to glass did not produce much of head and their isn’t much foam left behind. Take that for what it is. Appearance wise I have some things to say. First, to start off simple, color wise this beer is a golden almost pale straw color. But I’m sitting more in golden’s corner on this one. Credit must be paid to the Crystal malt for the coloring if I am correct with my research. Secondly, it is easy to see this beer was dry hopped with an addition of grape fruit peels. Both of which I am seeing floating in the beer. Kind of reinforcing the citrus grape fruit flavor of the beer. Now I know some people tend to be disgusted by floaters in their drinks, I for one am not. In my eyes it adds more spark to the beer and builds up my anticipation. In this case this isn’t simply sediment that was left at the bottom of the can as a residue, this is 100% supposed to floating around.

Alright, from appearance we go to our final critique of the beer, taste. Not surprisingly it is exactly how I felt with the aromas. Citra bombs going off the second you take a sip and it is glorious! From what I’ve read on 12 Gates’ website that it exactly what they were going for. Boom! But I am not going to stop there, I mean why would I? So there were two hops used in this beer Citra and Warrior. Let’s break each of them down, shall we? Citra hops are known for their aromas and flavors. We’ve already touched on the aromas, so let’s do the flavor aspect of the hop. Flavor wise this hop is known to produce everything I am tasting in this beer and that is mango, grapefruit, and citrus. All coming together in this delicious Citra  concoction that 12 Gates has made for our drinking pleasure. And I must say, they knew what they were doing. Now before we move to the Warrior hop, we have one more notion to touch on with the Citra hop. Its use with the dry hoppping, along with the grape fruit peels. Now I’ve had beers that were dry hopped as well as double dry hopped, and it can sometimes be tough to appreciate its use. In the West Coast, it’s noticed quite easily but in a very subtle way, if anything it’s strengthening the Citra taste and bring a dry side to it as well.

Alright, I think I’ve done justice for the Citra hop, let’s move onto the Warrior hop. I am guessing that the Warrior hop is being used for its high alpha acid percentage of 15-18%. Quite high from what I’ve seen. Leading me to think it was used in a bittering fashion and quite well if I may say so. An IBU rating of 69 is quite accurate in my opinion.  The bitter bite doesn’t linger around for too long, but stays just long enough to remind you of the good times you’ve had and the good times that are yet to come. An excellent expression of what Warrior hops can do, or any hop in that matter that is known to create a clean, crisp bitterness. But nthere is more after the bitterness wears off, which is definitive for West Coast IPAs. And 12 Gates nailed it on the head! This beer’s finish is perfect! Dry and crisp; I cannot think of any other way to describe it. A delicious and refreshing way to end a beer!

In conclusion, I am going to give this beer a 4.5/5. Every aspect of a West Coast IPA was seen in this beer, from its aroma and all the way to the end. Excellent! The aromas were perfect and built anticipation. Flavor and bitterness were spot on. I am highly pleased with the West Coast IPA and cannot wait for my trip out to 12 Gates to have some more!

Thank you 12 Gates for making such a delicious beer!

Cheers!

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