Figured I'd write this up because while composing my brewery review for today's visit, I realized I wouldn't get it done before 12 tonight, so I cranked out a quicker post. Tasted this with Thomas Behne, Aleeza Singh and Jen at Iowa City's Sanctuary. I had never heard of this brewery, and I wish I had considering all the times the team drove through Decorah to get to our XC camp in Minnesota. Tasted on tap in a pint glass.
Appearance: Golden straw haze. No carbonation visible. Little head aside for a foam white ring. The haze makes the beer look entire and full, perhaps even gritty in appearance.
Aroma: Fruity pine, as the nugget hops really permeate through the nose. Grapefruit....Ridiculous. Citrus and very naturally hopped with foresty flavors.
Taste: Grapefruit!!! all around, and it continues to persist in all aspects of the flavor. Interspersed is some pine that remains fresh and zesty. Minimal malt bill, but still present to fuel the hoppy citrus flavor. Bready and citrus and zest zing present. Interestingly this beer maintains the pinnacle character of the hops themselves. Tangerine and sweet orange and pineapple. Literally nothing is lost while it preserves every complexity that the fresh hops have to contribute. Maybe some honey malt could have been used. The bitterness continues in waves that pulsate the grapefruit profile. The bitterness isn't grassy or astringently bitter, it simply remains outrageously tropical and satisfying.
Mouthfeel: Bubbly and fizzy with a lighter medium body and a soft mouthfeel. Not sticky at all and only slightly resinous for a dry but sweetened clean finish. Overall Impression: BIG IPA - huge hop zest flavor in a very natural fruity sense that preserves the hops themselves and leaving nothing behind in the boil or fermentation. Flavors are simple but bold. Extremely drinkable and refreshing. Huge pine sweetness that doesn't just appeal to the hop-head but can to the tropical fruit lover. Up there with the top of the list IPA's.