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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Brew Free! Or DIE IPA- 21st Amendment Brewery

In keeping with my newly designated August theme of "drinking all the IPAs I can", I once again turn to 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco.

I first discovered these guys back in the early days of this blog, when I stumbled upon their wonderful dark Belgian Ale "Monks Blood".

These guys brew serious beers, they un-apologetically put them in cans (better for the beer, and the environment, according to their packaging), and put interesting, in your face copy and images on the cans ("monks blood"?)

Brew Free! Or DIE IPA
21st Amendment Brewery, San Francisco, CA
7% ABV, 70 IBUs

The can modestly proclaims this: "Brew Free! OR die IPA. IPA with a solid malt backbone & hoppy flavors"

That's all. Just "brew free". or DIE.

Then there's the cartoon caricature of Mt Rushmore, with Lincoln breaking free, fist raised defiantly, as if he's on his way to punch you in the face you if you don't "Brew Free"!

This beer pours a clear Orange/Gold color, with an inch or so of off white, wispy head. There a lot of bubbles in the glass.

Smell is piney hops with a subtle, warm malt undertone and hint of warm spice. Its very nice.

Mouthfeel is light, as you would expect, with a lot of bubbles on the tongue. There is also a very mild alcoholy warmth on the tongue, but its very, very subtle.

Taste is suprisingly malty (yes, yes, I know the can said it said it had a "strong malt back bone", but I expected it to be secondary taste, following the hops). There's a nice subtle spice in the malt that gives it some warmth, then a citrus bitter hop follow through and finish that balances it all out nicely. 

Malts used in the brewing were two row pale & imported Munich, and the hops were warrior, columbus, cascade, amarillo, ahtanum, & simcoe. (See all those hops? I am NOT crazy for expecting more hop flavor)

Overall this is nicely balanced, with a slight malt advantage in taste. I like it- a lot- but I was really hoping for more hops from a brew that calls itself  "brew free! or DIE IPA". I found it very drinkable and enjoyable.

I give this a solid 3.5 on a 1-5 scale.

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