Beer Review 0492: Sierra Nevada Flipside Red IPA
I have to admit, I’m a bit tired of seasonal beers. Especially seasonal beers that show up earlier and earlier each year — check out the beer editorial I wrote back in July regarding the topic, A Word About Season Creep.
Chico, California’s Sierra Nevada typically aren’t big offenders of season creep; their seasonal offerings, which until this year were merely four, one for each season, tend to hit shelves when they’re supposed to. However, perhaps they (and Dogfish Head, see Tweason’ale, 75 points) are introducing a new trend when it comes to time sensitive offerings: the between seasons seasonal.
Flipside is a red IPA brewed for the transition between summer and autumn. So that means this beer is appropriate for mid-August through mid-September? I don’t know. It all seems a bit ridiculous to me — but Sierra’s idea is to put this on the shelf to transition your taste buds into fall. Or maybe this is just another tasty beer they’ve put together and it’s all a marketing trick. I’m thinking that’s probably it. Cases of Tumbler (73 points), their official fall seasonal, hit stores way before Flipside did.
Anyway, back to the beer. Brewed with Magnum bittering hops and finished with Citra, Simcoe, and Centennial, Flipside hits 6.2% ABV (alcohol by volume) and pegs 60 IBUs (International Bitterness Units).
Flipside pours like any standard Sierra Nevada beer, producing a large, soapy and frothy head that is long lasting. Sierra makes some great looking beers, and this one is no exception; color is amber when viewed out of light; in brighter conditions, this beer is truly red and has a clear body, no particles or sediment. Lacing is excellent, leaving behind thick, frothy sheets of whipped foam.
The nose features another Sierra staple: soapy hops. It’s dry and has lots of grapefruit and pine, but the other aspects are subdued. Despite the label saying “tropical fruits,” you probably won’t find any of that. Beyond grapefruit and pine, there’s some lemon peel; the malts are light and feature toasted and roasted bready notes. The overall picture here is subdued and light.
On the palate, the initial flavors are of sweet bread and marmalade, but those hops quickly kick in, providing moderate bitterness, dry grapefruit, pine, and lemon peel. Flipside is a crisp beer; on the finish, it leaves notes of bread crust, grapefruit, and pine. Medium-bodied, the mouthfeel is medium with a foamy and drying texture.
This beer is not a problem to drink and is very pleasant. It reminds me of another Sierra seasonal (shocker, I know!) Ruthless Rye (93 points), just without the rye. Another solid beer from this storied brewery, just not overly remarkable. A solid 12-pack buy and good everyday brew.
Sierra Nevada Flipside Red IPA, 88 points. Price: $12.99 US for a twelve-pack.