Beer Review 0230: New Belgium/Alpine Beer Company Lips of Faith Super India Pale Ale

Now here’s a unique collaboration: New Belgium have teamed with Alpine Beer Company, a small outfit in San Diego, California — which happens to be just about the only city where you can get their beers — for a triple dry-hopped IPA that could only be called, what else? SUPER IPA.

Of course, we all know the story of Fort Collins, Colorado’s New Belgium, one of the biggest craft brewers today. They save their best and special beers for the Lips of Faith series, of which Super IPA is part of.

Alpine Beer Company opened its doors in 2002, and are known for producing some of the best IPAs in the beer world today. Again, the only problem is that their offerings are so hard to come by because of limited distribution. As it says on the bottle for Super IPA, “consider yourself a hero for getting an Alpine beer outside of San Diego.”

This brew is hopped with Amarillo, Columbus, Centennial, and Simcoe hops; the malt bill features Pale, C-80, Melanoidin, and Carapils. Super IPA is at Imperial level, coming in at 9% ABV (alcohol by volume) and 99 IBUs (International Bitterness Units).

The collaborative beer pours a large, soapy, and creamy stark white head, lasting atop a golden-orange colored beer. It’s a classic Imperial IPA look, with a clear body, no particles or sediment present, and nice, even sheets of lacing.

On the nose, Super IPA is super hopped, indeed. Right up front, big notes of garlic and onion, with some vibrant citrus (orange) and a medley of tropical fruits. While it does have some fruit juice concentrate characteristics, the garlic and onion keep this stopped short of that scent. There’s also a dank pine note, and touches of caramel and alcohol.

And the taste follows the lovely aroma: garlic up front, with some resinous pine; a floral kick with some orange marmalade flavors. The mouthfeel was surprisingly light for such a big beer; most of the time, these large Imperial IPAs tend to be thick, but this was light, thin, and creamy, with a soft carbonation. The finish provided an ample dose of bitterness and a long lingering resinous dark pine.

I thought the aroma of Super IPA to be a tad bit better than the taste. I would have liked to have tasted more of the vibrant fruit flavors found in the nose, but this is still a world class beer. It’s nice to see New Belgium make a beast of a beer that is hoppy, and as for Alpine, I would love to get my hands on some of their solo stuff.

Easily the best Lips of Faith beer I have ever had. If you can get those brews, find this one now while it is fresh. Hopheads will not be disappointed!

New Belgium/Alpine Beer Company Lips of Faith Super India Pale Ale, 95 points. Price: $8.99 US for one 22 oz. bomber size bottle.


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