In this first in a new series of posts I like to call beer roundups, I will explore some of the interesting beers that I have tasted over the past week or two. The beers featured here will primarily be ones that you can purchase in the store in 22oz bottles or six-packs. My hope is to provide you with some helpful advice about whether you should pick up that interesting beer in front of you enticing you with its unique (or boring) design. After all, it is better to drink from the comfort of your home so you don’t get a DUI.
This beer roundup series is part of my effort to explore different ways of writing for the audience here. Some people like the format of quick short posts about what I am drinking. If this is you, please follow me on Facebook. Others prefer to read a more lengthy explanation of what was good. Most of these beers showed up on my Facebook page at some point. By gathering multiple reviews into a single post I can make sure everyone has access to the same content even if they don’t want to use Facebook.
This beer roundup will examine the following beers: Pizza Port Brewing* Sessionable IPA, Ska Brewing Modus Hoperandi IPA, Modern Times Brewing Phalanx IPA, and Ballast Point’s Bavarian Hopped Double IPA (on tap only).
*Pizza Port Brewing should not be confused with Port Brewing/Lost Abbey. The two are distinct breweries both making fresh beer throughout San Diego. It is understandably a little confusing because the logos do look very similar.
Pizza Port Brewing Sessionable IPA
I was not very excited by the look of this beer so I might have avoided picking it up if I hadn’t been recommended it by someone working at BevMo. Session IPAs are all the rage now and this one fits in nicely with others in the same style. At a mild 4.5% it is perfect for your first beer on a Sunday and yet it has plenty of fantastic hop flavors like I have come to expect. This one is heavy on the citrus side and has a medium bitterness. I especially like that it was released in six-packs of pint cans because I am really starting to like these pint cans. This has many similar hops to the Fortunate Islands Hoppy Wheat from Modern Times and satisfies me just as much. This is a great one to turn to if you can’t find any Fortunate Islands.
Ska Brewing Modus Hoperandi IPA
I wasn’t familiar with this brewery at all before I saw this beer in the store but who can resist the design of this can? Gangsters, FBI lingo, and bountiful green hop buds call out to me like none other I have seen. This IPA has plenty of strong citrus and pine flavors with a smooth caramel malt backing. I really liked how well the caramel malts worked with the hops featured here. Though I typically don’t like darker maltier IPAs, the malt flavors are subtle enough that they don’t overpower the rest of it. Modus Hoperandi is sold in six-packs of 12-ounce cans. I might have a new favorite here.
Modern Times Brewing Phalanx IPA
The Phalanx IPA is originally only available at the brewery and most likely you will have to go there to get a bottle. I stopped by so that I could give it a taste before I bought some and ended up leaving without any bottles to take home. That isn’t to say that the beer is bad, it just didn’t hit the flavors I crave so much. This is an IPA that grows on you because it doesn’t immediately attack you with potent hops. It shares some dank characteristics with the Modern Times Blazing World (one of my favorites) but focuses the hop flavors more heavily on flavors described by the brewery as juicy. This juicy flavor comes through as a sort of extra sweet ripe melon. The hops in here taste like they are related to the ones Stone used in the recent Unapologetic IPA.
Ballast Point’s Bavarian Hopped Double IPA
The Bavarian Hopped Double IPA is only available at the Little Italy Ballast Point location in San Diego and probably won’t stay on tap for long with the unique flavors it displays. When I stopped by the brewery for a taste I was immediately struck by how sweet and flavorful this beer was without any significant bitter flavors. I would place the IBUs of this beer somewhere around 40 if not lower (which puts it about as bitter as the Fortunate Islands by Modern Times). Most of the flavors I noticed reminded me of ripe tropical fruit. This might be the double IPA to get your friends to try if they are scared of the bitter hop-bombs that have become regular around San Diego.