I started out the other day at Ray’s Cafe with the West Coast IPA from Green Flash Brewing (San Diego, CA), a brew I have had on a few occasions prior. I haven’t ever rated this one before though because we try to stick with beers in and around the Seattle area, or at least from Washington state. However, since this particular brew is so darn good and you can find it at a number of locations around the Seattle area I thought that it was one worth reviewing.
Green Flash describes their West Coast IPA as:
“A menagerie of hops is layered throughout the brewing process: Simcoe for unique fruitiness and grapefruit zest, Columbus for strong hop pungency, Centennial for pine and citrus notes and Cascade for floral aroma. A multi-dimensional hop experience.”
I don’t think this could be any more accurate. This 95 IBU, 7.3% ABV, copper colored beauty pours a thin layer of white lacing on the top. You could easily detect the hops on the nose, plenty of pine with a nice subtle citrus aroma lingering as well. What is a pleasant surprise is that there’s a measure of detectable malt character in the air as well. The West Coast IPA is definitely a bitter beer, but I would not go so far as to call it overpowering like a lot of other hop bombs out there. This beer tastes just like it smells, only amplified. There is a nice bit of sweetness just as it hits the tongue and then the hops take over. A piney taste definitely dominate this thing but there is a also a nice sense of the citrus and floral notes. Before I knew it my West Coast IPA was gone in a flash. This medium bodied beer finished nice and smooth and left me wanting more (on another day). I ordered up a Hale’s Cream Ale (Hale’s Cream Ale on Nitro – A Great Summer Brew) and moved on.
This is an extremely solid beer that ranks up there amongst my favorite IPAs. I’m an admitted “hop-head” and tend to more generously rate these types of brews, however this one deserves all 4.5 (out of 5) stars that it’s receiving. If you’re a fan of IPAs like me then this is one you do not want to miss.