Saturday, October 3, 2009

95. Elevator Three Frogs IPA

Three Frogs IPA is made by Elevator Brewery and Draught House in Columbus, OH; we had this with dinner at their brewpub on our way to watch the Seattle Sounders play the Columbus Crew. Elevator’s space is quite impressive—the building is beautiful on both the outside and inside. That’s my friend Jay, who lives in Key West, peeking out at you from behind the glass (and below as well)—he flew up to go watch the game with us.

Three Frogs IPA was light copper and clear with a creamy white head. The nose was a mixture of malt and hops, with grassy and earthy hop aromas coming to the forefront. The initial taste brought with it a dry, crackery malt body that had very little sweetness. The middle had a big hop bitterness—the grassy/hay and earthy flavors were easy to pick out; subsequent tasting revealed light citrus and grapefruit flavors as well. There was not much of a return of malt in the conclusion, or it was too light to compete with the bitterness, but there was a substantial lingering bitterness that almost bordered on astringency. Three Frogs was a bit light-bodied for an IPA; it was thin and sharp on the tongue with a pretty low level of carbonation and only a minimal bite. The malt dryness was nice on the front, but coupled with the dryness from the hops at the end, it was a bit much overall. It needs a bit more substance in the body to balance out the hop profile; the dry biscuit/cracker front doesn’t have enough sweetness to carry the beer through to the end. While the hop bitterness and profile was enjoyable, the lack of balance between it and the malt left us wanting a bit more sweetness.

From the Elevator website: “A bigger cousin of the English Pale, India Pale Ales were originally brewed with extra alcohol and lots of hops, both of which served to preserve the beer on the long voyage from England to the colony. Dry hopped with a distinct floral essence.”

Oh, and Seattle won 1-0 on a goal from Roger Levesque with a shutout by Kasey Keller, breaking Columbus’s 22 game home winning streak. Hooray for the good guys.

Before heading to Columbus for the game, I also attended my third BJCP class. Our discussion focused on the role of water in brewing, specifically in regards to primary water characteristics (mineral profile, pH, hardness, and alkalinity) and secondary water characteristics (trace elements, chlorination, oxygen content, cleanliness, and temperature), and how these characteristics affect the brewing process at different stages, as well as how to control these water characteristics while brewing. And of course, we also discussed the influence of water on the development of world beer styles, most particularly in relation to question S6. from the BJCP study guide: Identify, describe, and give at least one classic commercial example as listed in the BJCP Style Guidelines of a major beer style commonly associated with the following three classic brewing centers; you are expected to know the twelve different cities they might use for the question, including Bamburg, Berlin, Burton-on-Trent, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Einbeck, Köln, Newcastle, San Francisco, Senne Valley, and Vienna. See, I told you—not so easy.

Today’s sampled beers included pale ales and bitters:
8A. Ordinary Bitter: Boddington’s
8B. Special Bitter: Goose Island Honker’s Ale
8C. Extra Special Bitter: Fuller’s ESB
10A. American Pale Ale: Stone Pale Ale
14A. English IPA: Brooklyn East India Pale Ale
14B. American IPA: Two Hearted Ale
14C. Imperial IPA: Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA


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