Beer Review 0155: Green Flash West Coast IPA
We’ve never featured a beer from Green Flash Brewing Company on this website. Time to change that.
Located in San Diego, California, Green Flash is a small brewery with big ideas. Ran by CEO Mike Hinkley and his wife (Vice President) Lisa, beer production began in 2004 by taking traditional beer styles and putting twists on them. The beers are assertive and distinctive, and have won numerous awards — and Green Flash enjoys excellent distribution across the United States, so getting your hands on a bottle or two shouldn’t be hard.
West Coast IPA is brewed with the following hops: Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial, and Cascade. This beer has won multiple awards, including the 2008 National IPA championship and Best of Show at the San Diego County Fair. The numbers on this beer are formidable, at least on the IBU (International Bitterness Unit) scale; 95 IBUs, and 7.3% ABV (alcohol by volume).
Just the list of hops used alone has my mouth watering. I sure hope this one is tasty, and I’m going in with high expectations.
I gave this beer an easy pour after reading some information online indicating that this would produce a monster head — and even with my easy pour, I got an average size head that bordered on large; it was creamy in texture and lasting, a slightly off-white color atop a beautiful deep orange/amber beer. In the light, it had faded orange highlights and really showed off all the large particles and sediment floating throughout. This hazy-bodied beer left excellent lacing on the glass. Just a gorgeous beer that looked like a contender from the start.
And as you might expect on the nose, we have a hop explosion of mega proportions. Right off, there’s a dominant grapefruit, coupled with some resinous pine. There’s a heap of tropical fruits, pineapple, mango… a nice floral note and some citrus, burnt orange. There’s an underlying sweetness of caramel and a subtle biscuit aroma, along with a very tiny slight hint of alcohol. Complex in terms of the hops used. This one paints an exceptional hoppy picture.
On the taste, this beer lays notice to your palate quickly — HEY! — grapefruit and pine, with some very soft floral notes that linger under the tongue. There’s a nice sweet balance with some caramel, leading to an ultimately bitter finish that lasts and lasts, delivering waves of grapefruit and sticky pine, a hard candy caramel, and a bitter crush when you touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth. There’s no noticeable alcohol, and the mouthfeel is gritty thanks to the carbonation and drying, as is typical with most extremely hoppy IPAs.
Green Flash have made a superb beer here — my only gripe is I wish the taste had been as complex as the aroma, but that could be a freshness issue. Still, this is one hell of a beer; a solid, fine IPA sure to crave your hop curiosity if you have any. Trust me, this will satisfy…and you might be thinking about it the next day, wanting to return.
A beer that makes your night…
Green Flash West Coast IPA, 95 points. Price: $2.99 US for one twelve ounce bottle.