Friday, February 17, 2012


Welcome to the first ever Beers We Try BATTLE ROYALE. Today we have two of the best in the business: Ithaca's Flower Power IPA vs Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA. The Flower Power is more of a regional favorite here in Central New York, going up against the internationally renowned IPA standard that is the 60 minute IPA.

Flower Power: The Underdog
The Flower Power has really developed a following over the last several years here in Central
New York, and rightly so. It pours with a slightly hazy golden color and only a slight trace of
head. It smells mostly of grapefruit with maybe a hint of pine. The Ithaca website lists Simcoe, Amarillo, and Chinook as the finishing hops, the source of these wonderful aromas. The hops are
really the highlight of this beer. This hop depth and complexity is more comparable to a double IPA than most singles. This IPA is very well balanced, even if the rest of the beer doesn't really add much more to the palate. Ithaca has come out with a really strong showing for a challenger, and has a chance at unseating...

The Champ: 60 Minute IPA
The 60 minute pours a light golden color and very clear. Some breweries use some kind of clarifying agent in their beers to make them clear up during fermentation. It does not effect the taste or consistency of the beer, just makes it a little bit nicer to look at. My guess is Dogfish Head does this, and Ithaca, a smaller brewery, does not. A nice touch by DH. The aroma of the
60 is actually slightly acidic, with a subtle trace of hops. I am taken aback by the lack of aroma compared to the Flower Power, and after a few sips I am even starting to wonder if I have a bad bottle. I have had this beer before and really enjoyed it. Is it possible the hops from the Flower Power are completely overwhelming? Let's let it warm up a bit, have some nice aged Gouda, and then try again......The Sabres are playing right now, it is the third period during a game against the Canadiens in which they are down 3-2. For a team that had so much momentum going into the season, they have been such a huge disappointment. So much so that I am starting to have the same old "Bills problem": Would I rather have a meaningless win or a loss that gets us closer to the #1 pick? Sigh.......Back to drowning my sorrows in drink. After trying again with the 60, nothing has changed. It is really hard to say much about the flavor this beer offers. I suppose it is possible that the Flower Power's powerful hop presence has dwarfed whatever the 60 minute IPA has to offer, and crushed it under its thumb. Is it also possible that Wegmans has sold me an older bottle of beer? I believe the answer to that is a resounding YES. I have not been overwhelmed with the freshness of the beer on the shelves at my local Wegmans. Interestingly enough Dogfish does not offer any sort of Enjoy By date on their bottles, which would help.

Whether the Flower Power overwhelmed the 60 minute IPA or I got a bad bottle, maybe it doesn't matter. I fully expected the 60 minute IPA, the favorite, to crush the Flower Power. In fact the exact opposite was true. In the end the brewery is responsible for the beer in the bottle. In this BATTLE ROYALE, the local hero defeats the global goliath. Flower Power is an excellent IPA I would up against almost any other out there. Until it is challenged, it will reign supreme as the BATTLE ROYALE REIGNING CHAMPION.

No comments:

Post a Comment