I have been inspired by listening to the Orioles game on the radio to write about the IPAs I will be reviewing today in a face-off fashion. As I write, the O’s are 4-0 in the season, looking for a series sweep of the Yankees at Camden Yards. This reoccurring post will pin two beers that I am tasting that are of similar type and character against each other. The only rule I have is that there has to be a winner (no matter how good both beers are). The winning beer then snags a W for it’s respective brewery, and the loser recieves a shameful L….We kick off this series with a pair of dank Hazy IPAs!
The Alpha Effect Hazy IPA – Heavy Seas Brewing Company- 7% ABV 75 IBU: It has an orange juice color with sediments floating around, reminiscent of an Orangina given the carbonation. Citrusy, juicy, sweet grapefruit, and hop smell right out of the bottle. Has a half finger’s width of milky, lacy head. By now I have been getting VERY familiar with Mosaic hops, and they are definitely pronounced in this juicy IPA. Actual taste has a bitter back, but the nose flavor follows what you smell, with slight briney aftertaste. It has moderate malty and sticky mouthfeel, but is still easy drinking. It is a well done IPA showcasing primarily Mosaic hops, which they let really shine through. I give it a 4 and a half perfect storms out of 5. Additional hops included: Columbus, Centennial, and Citra.
Free Flow IPA– Otter Creek Brewing Co.- 6% ABV and 60 IBU. Light yellow pee color with very thin head. Has some sediments floating, but not as hazy as Alpha. Very robust citrusy hop smell that smells like orange peel, grapefruit, lemon and a slightly floral hint. Semi-clean hoppy, juicy flavor, with a bitter, grassy, bite on the nose. Falconers Flight hops comes through and makes for a very pleasurable flavor profile. Less malt backbone than Alpha, and the hops linger in the mouth a bit longer. Additional hops included: Citra and Galaxy. Gotta give this one a 4.75 chillin’ hippies out of 5.
This battle was a little difficult to sort out, but I have to say that Free Flow just edged out Alpha Effect. While I found the Alpha Effect was a much more balanced beer, Free Flow let the hops really all hang out for a fearless hoppy character. Free Flow found some great payoff with their upfront hop character and earned Ottercreek a 1-0 record. Heavy Seas falls to 0-1, but man that was a tasty loss. Please tune in for the next episode of Dualing Brews to see what brewery comes out on top!