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Rough Draught: Green Flash’s West Coast IPA and Schlafly’s Irish Style Extra Stout

 

This week’s beers may at first appear to be near opposites, but they do have one blaring comparison that is very important to The Daily Caller: They will both get you drunk. Like, a lot faster than some other beers. Yup, the focus of Rough Draught’s second installment are Green Flash Brewing Company’s West Coast IPA — alcohol by volume, 7.3 percent — and Schlafly’s Irish Stlye Extra Stout, which clocks in at a whopping 8 percent.

Green Flash Brewing Company’s West Coast IPA, San Diego, California:

The first thing The Daily Caller noticed about Green Flash Brewing Company’s West Coast IPA is that it is undeniably a beautiful beer. It pours into a rich, copper color, topped with a great, thick head. And let us tell you — this beer did not disappoint a one of us (drinking new beers is a community activity at TheDC).

The nose is the most subtle aspect of the beer, with light citrusy tangerine and a subtle Christmas tree/pine note. But enough of that — get to the sipping.

And you may want to sip this beer, but really you don’t have to — you could totally crush it.

But WAIT. First, an awesome history review: IPA is short for India Pale Ale. Legend (that we choose to believe) says these ales got this name because brewers (and Red Coats) got sick of their beer going bad on the long trip from England (cold) to Africa (hot), down around the Horn (cold) and back up to India (hot), adding gross beer to the long list of complaints the average Brit had about being in India. The solution? Jack up the hops. The outcome? History.

San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing Co. may be far away from bonnie England, but they sure live up to the IPA name. And when the brewmaster writes that this ale is a “multi-dimensional hop experience,” he isn’t just using pretty words. Tasting the West Coast IPA is a three-part experience.

First, the “Pow!” That pow is 95 International Bitterness Units right to the kisser, and it hits you with strong hops right in the center of the tongue (the bottle calls this baby “extravagantly hopped”), quickly spreading to the insides of your cheeks. But right away, this IPA begins to come in with that fruity citrus you might have caught on the nose if you bothered to pause to sniff. Missing it? So did a few of us. TheDC really caught the tangerine when we tasted it on the tip (just for a second, just to see how it feels) of the tongue. This IPA hits its final act leaving a delicious bitter taste that lingers in the back and on the sides of the tongue. The West Coast IPA hits all the bases, and we were just fine with that.

What to drink this with, you ask? The first word that came to the minds of nearly every (totally professional) taster at TheDC is “barbeque,” and that’s not just because we’re awesome — this English tradition would go very well with that American tradition. The sweet version, we mean. Pulled pork, really. Molasses and tomato-style.

But honestly, you can just drink this on its own. Be careful with sharing, because a 4-pack of 12 oz. bottles costs $10.99 around the corner.

Oh, and though we don’t like to cheat off the experts, we do like to do our research, and we are not the only ones to love the West Coast IPA. Their website lists nine awards, including the winning top prize at the National IPA Challenge.