The label on the Full Sail IPA lets you know you’re in for something fun when you pop the top on this beer: “Independent employee-owned Full Sail IPA. 12 fluid ounces of ridiculously tasty India Pale Ale concocted by our massive brewforce of 47. Specialists in the liquid refreshment arts since 1987.”
I like ridiculously tasty beer. I like beer with attitude, on both the inside and the outside of the bottle. And I like IPAs.
I can’t say that Full Sail, brewed in Hood River, Ore., quite achieves the lofty goal on its label, but it is mighty good.
Perhaps my reservations are because Full Sail plays it somewhat safe when it comes to the trademark hoppy bitterness of traditional IPAs.
Open the bottle and the intense floral notes you expect are balanced by caramel and cereal. That’s even before you begin to pour it. Soon, a deep golden color lights up the glass with a little bit of foam that settles into a fairly steady lace across the top.
The first taste is full and rich rich and pleasantly bitter; but instead of being overwhelmingly brassy, like some intense IPAs, Full Sail goes more for a middle ground, with that caramel sweetness keeping the hops in check before ending with a citrus-y finish that’s leaves you primed for more. That’s great if you’re looking for something fun, a beer to relax with after a long day’s work.
Full Sail is also great if you want to pair your brew with food. The hoppy nature makes it perfect with spicy foods, such as street tacos with a habanero salsa, onions and cilantro; with salty foods, such as fried fish or french fries; or even the crackly skin of a roast chicken.
Maybe that qualifies it for being ridiculously tasty, after all.
Beer in the news
President Obama has taken up beer making as a hobby, and a growing number of the beer lovers want to get their hands on one of his recipes. To do so, several activists have filed a Freedom of Information Act request.
The president is said to have made several styles, including a honey ale that reportedly uses honey taken from the bee hives in the White House garden. It is the honey ale recipe that people want.
In order for the FOIA request to be filed, 25,000 signatures are needed on the request by Sept. 17. As of Wednesday, only 14,732 had signed. To add your voice to the growing chorus, click here.