Our well documented love of hops surfaces once again in this week’s installment of Tasting Notes as we have a look at the Seasonal release of Tropical IPA from Garage Brewing Co. (Temecula, California).
Established in 2013 in what was once an eight-bay garage, Garage Brewing Co. hit the California beer scene with a mission “to provide exceptional beer in an array of styles that appeal to a broad spectrum of beer lovers.” Since many homebrewers got their start in a garage, Garage Brewing Co. uses their own to adopt the homebrewer’s freedom to dabble and experiment so that they can “stay on the cutting edge of the craft beer industry.” This approach allows their brewing team to “maintain four or more year round styles and regularly rotate in five to six seasonal creations.” The beers of Garage Brewing Co. are currently available in over 100 locations within the Inland Empire and San Diego County areas of California.
One of the most recent releases from Garage Brewing Co. is their Tropical IPA. This Seasonal brew is an American India Pale Ale that has been heavily dosed with the flavors of grapefruit, pineapple and passion fruit. At 7.5% ABV, this refreshing brew promises to be the perfect balance of tropical fruit notes and hoppy goodness. Tropical IPA is available for a limited time in 22 oz. bottles. It just so happens that we were lucky enough to get our hands on a bottle, so let’s pry off this cap and get to some Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for Tropical IPA from Garage Brewing Co.
Appearance: Tropical IPA fills the glass as a bright orange-colored brew with a frothy two fingers of white foam lounging comfortably on top. Held to the light, sun-kissed yellows appear but that deep, vibrant orange holds its ground at the center of the pour. The beer is pristine in clarity and displays an enthusiastic carbonation activity coursing within. The head drops down to a complete and lasting finger that lays down wide sheets of lace after each sip.
Aroma: Tropical leads in the name and it certainly leads in the department of aromatics. Incredibly clean notes of pineapple and grapefruit hit the olfactory quickly and clearly. Seriously, the pineapple is impressively pronounced and enticing. Orange and tangerine notes reinforce the tropical character before giving way to a lightly sweet grain presence. A wisp of hop resin breezes through to close things out.
Taste: Juicy, tropical fruit notes once again strike first with passion fruit and grapefruit immediately establishing their dominance. Those notes eventually allow the hop character the chance to show off a playful bitterness that bounces back and forth between pine and the zest of various citrus fruits. Pineapple slips through the back door with the malts to lay down a bit of balancing sweetness.
Mouthfeel: This IPA is on the lighter side of medium in body and has a prickly carbonation level. This combination keeps the beer easy-drinking and constantly begging for another sip. The hops do have some stick to them, and this allows the beer’s flavors and bitterness to linger a bit. Both sweet and bitter on the palate, balance is eventually achieved so the beer can clear out and allow the palate to reset. At 7.5%, the ABV presence is well masked and never makes a noticeable appearance. The aftertaste keeps things tropical with lasting notes of pineapple and grapefruit.
Final Thoughts: Garage Brewing’s Tropical IPA absolutely showed up to represent itself in the incredibly popular fruited IPA segment while still remaining true to its West Coast IPA roots. The tropical fruits definitely get top billing in this release, but the hops are still given a chance to work and add their own distinctive dimension to the experience. The real showstopper with this beer is the aroma. I simply cannot think of another beer that has such a blatant and pronounced pineapple character billowing from the glass like this Tropical IPA. Once you combine that with the juicy tropical fruit flavors and the hidden ABV, you are left with a ridiculously easy-drinking and refreshing IPA that is a fantastic go-to option after any hot day. If you happen to be in the SoCal area, be sure to give this one a shot. Prost!