This post was written by Tony Holladay. He is a native of California and moved to the Pacific Northwest over 10 years ago. An avid outdoorsman, he spends time fly fishing, hunting, camping and doing photography. Tony enjoys IPA as well as a good single-malt Scotch. He currently resides in Bellingham where all his favorite outdoor activities are readily available. He has been married for 26 years to Michelle and has 2 kids, Nathan, 21 and Rachel, 17. He also has a BS in Organizational Leadership from University of Charleston, West Virginia. check out his Instagram.
Today, I am writing my first beer review, and I am pretty excited to give it a try! I am not a beer expert by any means, but I certainly do enjoy them, especially our Pacific Northwest IPA styles! So let’s get started, shall we?
Beer: Northwest IPA
Company/Location: Red Truck, Vancouver, BC
Location of Taste: McKay’s Taphouse, Bellingham, WA
Upon arrival, it was clear this was not the hazy IPA’s that I have grown accustomed to. This beer was very clear, and was more amber in color than I expected. The head was an off white color, and looked a little on the thin side. The beer was served in a very cold glass, which makes it that much better!
I would describe it as having notes of caramel or some other things, but I am not that fancy! Before taking the first sip, I smelled grapefruit and maybe some pine or juniper. The smell was pleasant, and did not overpower the drink in any fashion.
The first sip was not nearly as bitter as I thought it would be. 69 IBU is not exactly super low, and yet I found the bitterness to be present without being overwhelming. It had a crisp , clean taste. I could certainly taste the citrus, with grapefruit being the primary flavor. There was perhaps a hint of sweetness, but I had to hunt to find it. That is a good thing- I am much more abut the bitterness than I am the sweetness that comes with the malt!
I would certainly consider this beer to be fairly well balanced, especially for a PNW IPA. I would prefer to find a little more bitterness prevalent in the flavor, but that is a very personal choice. If you like IPA’s but not the super bitterness, then this might be a good choice for you! At just 69 on the International Bitterness Units (IBU) scale, this beer comes across to me as a mild mannered hoppy delight! Easy to drink, and with a low ABV, it can be enjoyed probably in any season, but most likely summer would be the best time as it seems to be a lighter flavored beer for those warm summer days! If I had a scale, and it was 1-5, I would rate this one right around a 4!
McKay’s Taphouse, located in Bellingham,WA, is a family friendly joint with over 50 beers on tap! They serve pizza and sandwiches, and the staff is friendly, fast, and efficient. The 50 different taps are enough to give this place a try if you are in the local area- you won’t be disappointed with the wide selection they offer! Please drink responsibly!