What’s happenin’, everybody? Low Commander here, filling in back by popular demand for another week in the ol’ Beer Barrel! Our Make It Snow went and got all married last week (Congrats, Lady Mrs. Snow!) and I can only assume they are both currently quite inebriated on a beach somewhere, enjoying the honeymoon. But fear not, they’ll be back soon enough to rivet you with tales of yeast, barley, malt and hops, as well as possibly other things.
So I know that I went and wrote about an IPA last week, and while many people probably won’t believe me, they are in fact not my favorite kind of beer. In fact, I’m usually more of a dark, malty, maybe roasty ale kind of guy. Which is strange, because I went and decided to review yet another IPA this week.
I had a few other things in mind coming in, but this beer is something unique, and hopefully leads to a new kind of trend, as I’ve only seen two other breweries do something like this so far. Mission Brewery, located in the heart of downtown San Diego, has put out a their “Sorachi Ace” Green Tea IPA. This bad boy sits at 7% ABV, and ?? IBUs. Brewed only with the specialty Sorachi Ace hops grown in Japan, which have been primarily used in the background of other beers as a bittering hop, this is an endeavor that I fully support. I’m someone who has green tea every morning to wake up, and I’m more than okay with using it to end my day as well.
This beer pours a deep gold, with a full lingering head of foam that doesn’t want to go anywhere and is extremely carbonated. Being careful not to give myself a Belgian Dip, I got the strong smell of pine, citrus and green tea, which may sound odd but is very delightful. On first sip, all I can say is that this is… complex. After a few more tastings, I can say that there is a initial dash of hops that quickly gives way to the tea taste. There’s also some kind of light spice that I want to say is coriander, and according to the bottle, I’d be right! The taste kind of then folds in on itself and leaves a nice balance of hop and bitter tea taste on the back of your tongue that’s good in all the right ways. If you exhale out your nose after a sip, you really get a nice piny lemon kick. While certainly not a session beer, I found it extremely easy drinking. I had to pace myself, as I wanted to see what happens when it warmed up. I wasn’t as big a fan of this, which is good as there wasn’t much left. The tea taste really intensifies, and the bottle had mentioned notes of dill, which are definitely present now; so much so that the lemony pine is gone. If you like dill, then this may be for you, but we’ve never been much of friends, so the last few sips went back into the fridge.
Overall, this style has become one of my favorite brewing experiments. Mission’s take on it is really good, but the variants I’ve seen done by Kilowatt Brewing have been a bit better and where I am setting the bar for this style. Those allowed for more of the hop to get through so that the tea isn’t primarily what you’re tasting. And not that this is a bad thing, I just simply prefer it the other way. I can only hope that more brewers try to dabble in this field, as this shouldn’t be just the occasional seasonal release.
Low Commander of the Super Soldiers is a somewhat of beer and drank this 22 oz of Mission Sorachi Ace IPA before becoming an alot of whiskey. He still enjoys talking in the third-person a little bit too much, and just (finally) started watching the first season of Mr. Robot, which has been very fun through 4 episodes.