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A Tale of Two Citrus-ies 

A devotion to citrus takes two different roads

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MIKE RIEDEL
  • Mike Riedel

This week we have an IPA that tries to achieve its citrusy flavor profile via the use of hops, versus an IPA that goes straight for the juice in its pursuit of citrus qualities. Which one will work best for you? I'm sure you'll have fun experimenting.

Grid City - IPA #2: This is the second IPA from Grid City, and it showcases a hop blend known as "Cryo Pop." It's composed of Cascade, Simcoe, Centennial and Galaxy varieties.

Golden and orange tones from the beer spill out and diffuse across the table. Though of only modest foaminess, the lacing expands like a marching army, conquering all corners of the glass. The cryo hops have a bouquet enveloped in citrus pith and dripping with bitter resins. There's an air of tropical fruits, but also a little bit of dankness, like a forest after a heavy rain.

That leafy flavor develops further on the palate, especially as the mandarin and grapefruit notes fade and that earthy, herbal aftertaste sets in. It's not particularly intense by IPA standards, but will likely intimidate most mainstream drinkers. This is what the style is all about. To that end, one won't taste any alcohol, but considering this is 7.8 percent and drinks arguably much easier than it should at that strength, maybe watch for it later. Those who don't mind a few IBUs will probably want to session this; I thought there was a hole in my glass as the liquid emptied out of it so fast.

Overall: Let's be honest: It's not like there's any shortage of IPAs in Salt Lake City. Hell, you don't even have to leave Midvale to find many of the region's best. The regional standard is high. To earn and maintain a good reputation really says something about Grid City.

Bewilder - Mimosa: As the name suggests, this beer will be featuring a citrusy twang—the second local IPA I've had that features a juice addition. The body is a hazy, bright, light orange color with low clarity, but not heavy with sediment; any light showing through the glass is completely distorted. The soapy, off-white head stands a solid two fingers tall, with light retention and heavy lacing. On the nose I get orange peel, orange creme, some sweet caramel malts, and a nice dose of piney hop notes. The orange definitely takes the lead; it almost smells like an orange creme liqueur, only much more pleasant and with much less of an alcohol presence.

Swilling this one, I get juicy citrus, orange crème and piney hops up front and in the middle. On the back end I get sweet bready, biscuit flavored malts, with some Orange Julius blended in. This is a pretty good-tasting beer that lives up to the name. The 6.7 percent ABV mouthfeel is medium sticky, with a nice blast of citric acid to light up the salivary glands.

Overall: I can understand why an IPA purist or a hop-head may not like this beer, but luckily for me, I am neither of those. It's got those sweet, juicy characteristics on the nose and palate, a citrusy body and a great look to it—definitely one of the more enjoyable fruited IPAs I've had recently. I would absolutely drink this one again.

Bewilder's Mimosa IPA debuted at the Utah Beer Festival in 16-ounce cans; as of this writing it was still available at the brewery. Grid City's IPA #2 is also in 16-ounce cans and is only available at their South Salt Lake brewery. As always, cheers!

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