This week’s Canada’s Craft Beer post comes from our Atlantic Canada craft beer guy, Todd Beal. This week Todd introduces us to some East Coast IPAs.
The origin story of India Pale Ales (IPAs) is legendary and fascinating. Although there are questions about its accuracy, IPAs have been around since the early 1800s and have evolved in North America with the use of our hop varieties.
Although the lines are blurred and continue to be, East Coast IPAs differ from West Coast IPAs by the use of a stronger malt presence to balance the intensity of the hops. West Coast IPAs have hops front and centre with a simple malt profile.
I’m profiling a couple of original East Coast IPAs that I really enjoy. I find them quite sessionable even though they’re a bit higher in alcohol content.
Picaroons Traditional Ales Yippee IPA
6.5% ABV | Available: NS, NB, AB
The Picaroons Traditional Ales calls Yippee IPA an East Coast-style India Pale Ale that owner Sean Dunbar says is on the mellow end of the craft beer IPAs these days. The label says it may change from batch to batch as they explore the various interpretations of the style; this is still true but to a much lesser extent more recently, allowing for more consistency.
It pours with a clear golden color and a nice thick, creamy head. The aromas from the beer are quite strong and I found a good amount of hop aroma (floral and some herbal), citrus and caramel.
The taste was citrus, and hop bitterness with sweet maltiness. It had a medium mouth feel with a good amount of carbonation and a bitter finish. It’s in the upper range for IPAs but there’s no alcohol burn, just a nice drinking beer.
Propeller Brewing IPA
6.5% ABV | 68 IBU | Available: NS, NB, ON, AB, BC
The number one selling craft beer in Nova Scotia is Propeller Brewing’s IPA, a beer they say “… is true to this style, it’s bracing, bitter and higher in alcohol and made with the trademark Propeller quality. It’s full-bodied ale for full throttle beer lovers!” The beer is available in a 341 ml six pack or a 650 ml (Bomber) bottle.
The IPA has a nice golden, semi-hazy appearance with a creamy white head. The aroma is floral hops, grassy, citrusy, malty, and sweet with a bit of caramel. The taste was like the aroma with a sweet start with some caramel and maybe biscuit, and a bitter hoppy finish with a hint of fruits.
It has a medium mouthfeel and carbonation and is easy drinking. It’s well balanced with the malts letting the hops shine through.
Todd Beal follows the craft beer scene closely in the Canadian Maritimes and reports on it weekly on his blog, Maritime Beer Report. He is asked to comment frequently on television, newspapers and magazines as a craft beer expert. He can be heard Friday afternoons on News 95.7 commenting on beer. Visit his blog and follow him on twitter @MaritimeBeerRpt.