Granville Island – So Cal Style IPA

I’ve got another beer from Grainville Island to review today. But before I get to that, I wanted to share some good news. Stone Angel has opened their doors and will now be serving beer Wednesday-Sunday. That is another brewery open to the public and always cause for celebration. TransCanada is inching ever closer as is Oxus and I hope that by the end of October both will be open. Finally, I’ll be sitting down with Oxus, Barn Hammer and Peg in the coming weeks to do write-ups. Oxus about their opening and Peg and Barn Hammer in celebration of hitting the 1-year mark.

But, onto Granville Island and their So Cal Style IPA.

*Note, I did receive this beer from Granville Island free for review. *

I wrote about Granville Island in more detail when I first reviewed their Gose. You can read about them more here. In my previous review of their BC Bitter I also included a bit of a Q and A I had with brewmaster Kevin Emms. You can read about that here.

IPAs or India Pale Ale, have a storied history. The first known use of the term comes from the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser in 1829.  At this time, they were also referred to as a “pale ale as prepared for India”, “East India pale ale”, and “Export India Pale Ale”.  These types of IPAs were widely popular amongst the East India company and, while considered very hoppy, they were not much stronger than other beers brewed now. Hops are used as a preservative of sorts, to help keep the beer fresh. If you were preparing a beer for a long trip from England to India, you’d need to add a lot of hops. So, while the IPA if consumed in England before shipping would be quite hoppy, at the other end it likely would not. Today, the tradition of hopping beers continues, but we don’t have as far to send them, and the goal is to make a hoppy beer. If you’re curious about IPAs check out Wikipedia, the BJCP Guidelines (Page 37) or IPA Beer.

While these beers are part of the pale ale family, they are strongly hopped and often highlight the variety of flavours and complexities that can come from the simple ingredients used to brew beer.  Many will say the IPAs are an acquired taste, and they are rather unique, the bitterness brought using a large quantity of hops is not for everyone. On most IPAs you’ll see an IBU (international bitterness units) number that gives you an idea of how bitter it might be. For comparison, Torque’s American Pale Ale (Foundation) comes in at 30 IBUs, Half-Pints little Scrapper comes in at 50, and Barn Hammer’s Saturday Night Lumberjack at 75 IBUs.

The So Cal IPA is a West-Coast IPA. This variation on the IPA are typically higher on the alcohol range usually coming in between 6.8% and 8%. The reason it is called “west-coast” is largely due to the use of hops available on the west-coast. GIB So Cal IPA comes in at 80 IBUs.

ABV – 7.8%
Appearance – Pours a slightly hazy, medium copper colour with a puffy foamy off-white head.
Smell – Doughy malt biscuit notes with subtle aroma of grapefruit and citrus bitterness.
Taste – Biscuity malt comes through on the taste with a hit of bitterness and slightly astringent alcohol burn on finish.
Mouth Feel – Good carbonation and a bitter slightly astringent finish.
Overall Thoughts – Overall, I would say that this beer was a bit too malt forward for me. The bitterness was there, but for an IPA it wasn’t bringing the grapefruit and citrus notes I was expecting.
Do I like it? – While the expectation didn’t meet the reality, this beer certainly brought a good hop bitterness with a firm malt base.

Thanks for following along. I am meeting up with Oxus today and hope to get some updates for post next week. Lots still to come and lots of exciting beer related stuff happening.

-Beer Winnipeg

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