Wednesday, July 4, 2012

522. Fremont Homefront IPA

Our third beer from Fremont Brewing, following Bourbon Abominable 2011 (love that name) and Harvest Ale. I picked this up in Seattle during my recent visit with my dad, and brought it home because I figured Elli would like it. And I was right.

Homefront IPA pours a hazy butterscotch with a thick, rocky eggshell head. The nose is a delicious blend of spice, pine, and resin hop aromas mixed with floral and perfume yeast esters, with an emphasis on the evergreen. Flavors follow suit, with pine and a touch of caramel in the front, followed by bitterness and dryness in the middle coupled with more evergreen and pine hop flavor. There is a slight chalk and mineral bite in the turn to the finish, then the pine returns, along with a tannic bite on the tongue from the oak that lingers with the bitterness. The oak bite also dries out the beer on the palate, as does the bright carbonation, although it simultaneously makes the beer clean & fresh on the palate. The malt character strikes me as more British than American; while the flavor is more caramel than crystal, the malt contributes more of a chewy mouthfeel than any clear, distinct flavor in the beer—it serves mainly as a backdrop for the hop flavor. Homefront also strikes me as not as definitively a Northwest IPA as others I’ve tried, although I’d be hard pressed to pin down the intangibles that have led me to this claim. Nonetheless, a well-balanced and easy drinking beer—it is simple, upfront, clean, and fresh. Homefront IPA is both approachable and refreshing. Nice work, Fremont.

From the bottle: “Homefront IPA is a special beer created with Chris and Phil Ray of COTU Brewing to honor our veterans as they return home from their tour of duty. Homefront is aged on oak bats donated by Louisville Slugger and is released nationwide in collaboration with 21st Amendment, Perennial Artisan, St. Arnold, Cigar City and Sly Fox Brewing. This beer is our way to say thank you to our service members for their sacrifice. Operation Homefront (OH) provides emergency financial assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors. All proceeds from the sale of this beer will be donated to OH.”

ABV: 6.2%
Malt:  2-row, Crystal 60 & Aromatic
Hops: Cascade & Chinook


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