Over the holidays, I was introduced to two pretty awesome things—the first is pictured above. You can pick up those Scrabble-themed beer coasters over at SpoonSisters.com and spend 2013 spelling your way through pints of beer (check them out in DRAFT’s Nov/Dec issue for some high-scoring word tips). But, what should go in that pint? That’s the second surprise from last week: Schlafly TIPA.
First, the bad news: This special release, which launched in October, is only out through the end of the this month. If you live within Schlafly’s distribution, do not pass up the opportunity to hoard this beer. I can’t stress that enough. I would have bought cases, but could only manage to bring a sixer back from Kansas City to Phoenix.
Now, the good news: This will probably be your new favorite IPA. Billed as a Tasmanian IPA due to its use of Australian-grown Galaxy hops, this perfectly crafted brew is elegant, unusual and incredibly delicious. The hop character in both the aroma and flavor delivers mango, grapefruit, touches of white grapes and floral notes; perfectly paired with a light toasted, caramel malt base. Its bitterness is easy, its flavor is big and the fact that it’s brewed with a single hop and single malt variety (2-row) makes it even more impressive. Schlafly brewers are officially magicians.
At this point in the Australian and New Zealand hop invasion, I’ve had the chance to try plenty of beers that feature new flavors from Down Under, yet none have seemed so bright and interesting as Tasmanian IPA. So, go out and try it for yourself. Then join me in a spirited letter-writing campaign to convince the St. Louis brewery to make this beer year-round.
Got a favorite IPA brewed with new, unusual hops? Let us know in the comments.