Wednesday, October 28, 2009

120. Ithaca Flower Power IPA

Flower Power IPA is brought to you by the Ithaca Beer Company in Ithaca, NY. Ithaca is home to Moosewood Restaurant as well as Cornell University. I spent six weeks in Ithaca one summer going to the School of Criticism and Theory—basically summer camp for academics—which was delightful, as Ithaca is gorgeous (or gorges, if I am to follow the cheesy-ass pun adorning bumper stickers everywhere). And while I enjoyed the nightlife, I don’t recall seeing anything by Ithaca Brewing at that point, although I did get to make lots of geeky literature-based in-jokes, and take Houston Baker out to lunch. Yes, I was as giddy as a schoolgirl—what do you expect from a fourth year graduate student? But I haven’t regaled you with the saddest experience while there—the first night, there was a dinner event to get to know all the other participants. I was in a small circle of graduate students talking about who we were and what we were studying when Frederic Jameson approached our group from almost directly behind me. The other people in the circle all saw him coming, while I was completely blindsided. Thus everyone scattered, and I was left in a one on one conversation with Fredric Jameson. Having just finished reading The Political Unconscious about two months before for my orals, I was completely unprepared for this moment. Let’s just say he handled it beautifully; he attempted to talk to me about what I was working on, and was generally an all around swell guy. I, on the other hand, was having difficulty forming a sentence. To use an appropriate sports metaphor, I totally dropped the ball. And then kicked it out of bounds. Repeatedly. So in my bright shining moment, I blew it big time. Welcome to academia...

Flower Power has a bready malt nose with citrus and floral hop aromas; the off white head goes with the cloudy copper color, and the beer laces the glass almost all the way down. It begins with a tangy malt sweetness mixed with a bready malt flavor before moving into bitterness and big hop flavor in the middle with citrus, floral, and grapefruit hop flavors, and ends with a dry malt finish and some lingering bitterness. There is a medium body with a chewy mouthfeel; the soft front is in part via the minimal carbonation, although there is some bite in the middle to end. Overall, an excellent IPA; there is a nice mix between the English and American IPA traditions, although it could use a bit more malt complexity to better develop the flavor profile. Elli was less excited by this beer that I was—the big hop flavor mixed with the bready malt was a nice way to play to the strengths of both brewing traditions.

From the Ithaca website: “Enjoy the clover honey hue and tropical nose. Simultaneously punchy and soothing with a big body a finish that boasts pineapple and grapefruit. Flower power is hopped and dry-hopped five different times throughout the brewing and fermentation process.”

ABV: 7.5%
IBU: 75
Malt: 2-Row and Honey malt
Hops: Columbus, Cascade, & Ahtanum
Dry Hops: Simcoe, Centennial, & Amarillo


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