Tuesday, May 4, 2010

308. 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die IPA

21st Amendment does get props for an awesome name for a brewery; located in San Francisco, CA, they’re right around the corner from the Giants new stadium (which is on King St.). The first time we went, back when no one had ever heard of them (this was like in 2004), my friend Joe bought a sweet hooded sweatshirt from them, but them proceeded to lose it like a year later. When I went back several years later, yep, you guessed it—no more sweatshirts. I guess the days of hooded sweatshirts as a promotional item have long since passed away. And a slow silent tear trickles down my cheek...

Brew Free or Die IPA is between a light copper and a dark gold. We’re just gonna call it maize (that means corn in Spanish). The head is a creamy white that laces the glass profusely, and the nose has malt sweetness mixed with graininess, and hop grassiness along with what we’d call a “generic hop” nose—there is hoppiness, but it is not clearly identifiable. BFD starts with a small amount of caramel sweetness before moving into the bitterness of the middle, where some graininess also emerges. The finish brings with it a slight sourness and some lingering general hoppiness; much like the nose, the hop flavor and aroma is not clearly distinct or discernable, leaving BFD much more of an English IPA than an American one, at least in terms of the hop profile. BFD has a medium body, but is a bit thin tasting; the carbonation is medium, and works well with the beer. The hop bite is also a bit light; we expected a bit more bite for a 70 IBU beer, especially with a thinner body like this one has. Elli thinks that this beer might be better on draft at the brewpub rather than out of the can, and I would tend to agree with her on this one.

From the can: “Hey, we’re Nico and Shaun, and we live for great beer. To us, the 21st Amendment means much more than just an end to Prohibition. It means the right to brew to brew beer, the freedom to be innovative, and the obligation to have to have fun. When we opened the 21st Amendment Brewpub in San Francisco, we vowed to do things differently or not do them at all. Craft beer in a can? Why not? Cans keep beer fresher, they’re better for the environment and they’re easier to take with you. So grab a can and celebrate your right to be original!”

From the 21st Amendment website: “BREW FREE! OR DIE IPA is brewed with some serious West Coast attitude. This aromatic golden IPA starts with a sucker punch of six different hops to the nose, quickly balanced by a solid malt backbone. Our top selling beer at the pub, this IPA starts big and finishes clean leaving you wanting more.”

ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 70
OG: 16.5° P
Malts: 2-row Pale & Imported Munich
Bittering Hops: Warrior
Finishing Hops: Columbus & Cascade
Dry Hops: Amarillo, Ahtanum, & Simcoe


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